Area 9 Investigation Confusion
21/06/2017, we met Highways England staff, presented documentary evidence and an investigation of Kier Highways Ltd’s charging of Third Parties (drivers, fleets, hauliers and insurers) was to have commenced. We demonstrated gross exaggeration of claims, failure to comply with the contract and suspected fraud. The concerns affected 1,000’s of claims and £millions.
We were also concerned Highways England were not checking the demands made of them pre-payment of contractor invoices.
However, it subsequently seemed the outcome was a forgone conclusion, we were subjected to prevarication, threats and ultimately silence until …
09/2018, Highways England’s CEO Jim O’Sullivan wrote that the inquiry was concluded.
No comment about our allegations:
- the evidence or the £millions inappropriately taken from Third Parties in the name of Highways England
- false statements made to the Courts, Third Parties and us
- charges for costs not incurred and misrepresentations to support the demands for payment
Then, a Highways England response to an FoIA request on the WhatDoTheyKnow web site revealed:
19/02/2019, the investigation of Area 9, is NOT concluded
‘Following a search of our records, I have established that the information you
requested is not held by Highways England as the review into our service provider
contract for Area 9, is not complete‘ – HE Ref: 768,553 (768553).
22/02/2019 – An annotation on the WDTK request sums up the situation …
‘Oops! Must be a bit embarrassing for the CEO to sign one letter saying that the investigation into Area 9 has being ‘concluded’, and four months later his Green Claims team to say that it isn’t ‘complete’!
I’ve got to follow this.’
The inquiry, which should have commenced when we met Mrs Sarah Green of the Public Authority
In 06/2017, in the space of about 2 hours we presented evidence to support the above allegations. It took more than a year for Highways England Chief Executive Officer, Jim O’Sullivan, to disclose to us that the inquiry was concluded.