Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The basic effectiveness of New York City's 311 online complaint system is being questioned by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who revealed today that online complaints made by his office regarding open potholes had disappeared from the 311 system.

His staff submitted 134 pothole complaints online, starting in March. When their complaints weren't acknowledged, they called 311 and were told by operators that there was no record of any of those complaints.

Mr. Stringer sent a letter on July 15th to Carole Post, the Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), demanding answers and requesting documents through the New York State Freedom of Information Law..

Since online 311 pothole complaints are being lost, it will no doubt make the public wonder which other types of complaints are also lost.

The Borough President addressed several specific questions to the DoITT Commissioner, including:
  • What steps, if any, are being taken to fix this obvious defect in online complaints regarding potholes to 311?
  • Are there other types of online complaints that 311 has had trouble tracking, and if so, what are they?
  • What is the protocol, if any, for tracking all complaints and assuring that all service requests are properly addressed?
Borough President Stringer is waiting to hear back from DoITT.