MIDTOWN — Complaints about potholed streets are being swallowed up by the city's 311 system, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer claimed.
Records kept by Stringer’s staff members discovered that 134 complaints logged through 311 online disappeared from the system, his office said Tuesday.
Stringer spoke about the issue on Tuesday as he stood just a few feet from a pothole on East 58th Street between Second and Third avenues. Stringer said his office filed a complaint about this particular site in March of this year.
But, he said, the pothole has yet to be filled, and his office was unable to locate any evidence that the complaint was logged.
Stringer then walked across the street and pointed out another hole in the pavement, this one filled with murky water.
“It looks like a cesspool. It looks like a pond out here,” Stringer told a crowd of reporters.
On Friday, Stringer sent a letter to Carole Post, commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), raising concerns about faults in the 311 online filing system and about Accenture, the main outside contractor responsible for maintaining the system.
In addition, Stringer has submitted a Freedom of Information Law request for documents related to Accenture’s contracts with the city.
“It would appear that 311 pothole complaints are, in fact, falling into a black hole. The fact that these complaints are being lost raises questions about what other types of calls may be falling through the cracks,” Stringer said. “That is why I have called on DoITT to provide information about the main contractor responsible for integrating 311 services.”
Stringer included in the letter a list of all online pothole complaints his office has submitted since March 25 of this year. When confirmation emails did not arrive after 10 days, members of his staff called 311 but were told that there was no record of their complaints.
At least one 311 operator acknowledged this was an ongoing issue with the online complaint system, Stringer's office said.
When pothole complaints are filed through 311 online, visitors are redirected to the Department of Transportation Web site and submit the form directly to the DOT.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the DOT said that for all the cases the department has reviewed so far, each submission was acknowledged, and all the potholes were found to have been repaired.
"We will continue to look into the remaining concern expressed by the Borough President—that his office had not received a second service acknowledgement," the DOT said in the statement.
A spokesman for 311, Nicholas Sbordone, defended 311's online reporting system.
“Long-story short, the borough president is wrong," Sbordone said. "There is no — repeat no — problem with 311 online."
Stringer’s office said he has not yet received a response from DoITT.