31/10/2019 saw the demise of the NSoRC; Highways England having failed to present a workable schedule of costs for Damage to Crown property (DCP) works. Why?
It surely cannot help that the Authority does not possess a price list for works (so they claim); they do not know what they are to be charged as a schedule of rates was overlooked – on every contract since 2012! It was not only too expensive to reconcile an invoice for payment, they had no schedule of rates with which to reconcile 1,000’s of invoices!
But the suspicion for the failure of NSoRC is that the process left little ‘wiggle room’ for contractors, it hampered their ability to exaggerate and profiteer. A shocking suggestion, but one conveyed to the Authority and yet to be addressed:
- What happens next?
‘We will revert to pursuing claims based on the actual cost of carrying out the repairs and will continue to explore options for a transparent and equitable set of rates’.
But if the Authority does not possess a schedule of ‘actual costs’, does not know the ‘actual cost’ of anything, how is the above to be achieved?
Given there are about 100 incidents on our motorways every day, it follows the Authority is regularly receiving invoices from their contractors. An incident weeks ago, may only be invoiced today.
The obvious means by which to obtain a schedule of DCP rates is for the Authority to ask their contractor to provide the price list (schedule of rates) they are using to bill Highways England (over threshold) as at today.
- Why have they not done so?
A year ago we were assured a schedule of rates would be published by Kier. Highways England’s CEO left us in no doubt of this. To date, we are still waiting. As it is evident our request for the schedule and attempts to obtain it, are not going to be disclosed voluntarily, we are left with no choice but to progress by way of FoIA request. To read more click here.