Following Highways Magazine obtaining the statement from Highways England (14/07/2017):
‘We take the suggestion that our suppliers may have submitted inflated claims for Crown property repairs very seriously and are looking into the allegations.’
We have been asked whether we are behind the allegations and what the evidence is. To address both briefly:
- We are one of a number of Adjusters who have taken issue with invoices raised by Highways England, TFL and Council contractors. We have made allegations. We do not do so lightly – we have come under sustained and unwarranted ‘attack’ from contractors and public authorities.
- As an example of the evidence we possess, everyone presented an invoice from Kier Highways Ltd (KHL) should take the time to review the charges presented and question why no one will corroborate the amounts used post 10/2015 by providing the schedule from which they are said to be taken. Possibly there is no schedule, possibly they do into reflect the actual schedule …
This non-disclosure and reliance on ‘commercial sensitivity’ to withhold the information is at odds with KHL’s conduct before 10/2015 when they were at pains to present details of their charging methodology – the figures below were commonly presented to justify their charges. These provide some basic insight:
- Firstly, the process, which we refer to as ‘1153’ (below) is at odds with the contract – it does not reflect the methodology specified in the contract by which the ‘maximum’ a third party is to be charged.
- Secondly, what replaced 1153 in 10/2015, what figures are now being used? Take, as an example, the emergency incident response operatives (the AIW’s). You are likely looking at a charge of over £70 / hour. However, some simple mathematics indicate something is awry … pre-10/2015 these operatives cost KHL £2,750,835.90 / year. There are 38 of them, so each costs £72,390.42 per annum. They work 9 hours per day for 5 days a week or 2,340 hours / year. This equates to £30.84 / hour.
- Thirdly the process saw a minimum attendance charge of about £2700 for the operatives and £2000 for the admin’. The attendance charge was likely to have cost no more than £700 … £2,000 per incident on over 3,000 culprit-incidents per annum (‘1153′ was a gross understatement – there were about 5,400!) equates to £6 million before admin’ is taken into consideration.
Before October 2015, AIW’s were costing £30.84 / hour. Overnight, this became £70+ / Hour.
But all the time, Highways England have been paying less than £30 / hour … so have KHL been operating at a loss or are the 1153 figures skewed, false? Who knows … KHL appear unsure who put 1153 in place, save for mentioning that it was possibly some ‘tricky‘ individual. However, in a recent Court hearing, KHL’s head of claims referred to 1153 as ‘hilarious‘ … not how we would describe institutionalized exaggeration! More about 1153 can be found here – 1153 information.
|REF.||#||RATE||Charge per claim|
|Attendance Call Out Charge||Cost per Year||(rate /1153)|
|ER01||Asset inspection watchmen||38||£2,750,935.90||£2,385.89|
|4×4 AIW vehicle||19||£440,183.25||£381.77|
|S01||DCP Technical Assistant||12||£520,417.61||£451.36|
|S11||Snr Tech Assistant||1||£66,800.61||£57.94|
|S13||DCP Financial Analyst||1||£55,676.67||£48.29|
|S16||Area 3 tm programmer||1||£6,903.24||£5.99|
|S17||Area Manager North||1||£34,766.48||£30.15|
|S18||Area Manager South||1||£34,766.48||£30.15|
|S19||Asset Delivery Manager||1||£25,109.12||£21.78|
|S20||Asset Development Manager||1||£17,378.94||£15.07|
|S21||Assistant to Area manager South||1||£28,972.06||£25.13|
|S22||Assistant to SMT||1||£17,378.94||£15.07|
|S23||Customer service coordinator||1||£4,080.62||£3.54|
|S28||NCC supervisor and tunnel AIW||4||£161,840.10||£140.36|
|S30||Network Occupancy Manager||1||£23,660.83||£20.52|
|S31||Regional Business Manager||1||£37,075.08||£32.16|
|S32||Severe Weather and Contingency Manager||1||£47,642.95||£41.32|
|S34||Traffic Safety Officer||1||£8,351.50||£7.24|
|S35||Tunnel control centre operator||4||£150,482.90||£130.51|
|S36||Tunnel control centre Supervisor||2||£79,500.40||£68.95|
|S37||Assistant Area manager north||1||£19,782.58||£17.16|