Area 9 Rates Under Scrutiny
In Area 9, Kier Highways have not issued one invoice for DCP (damage to Crown property) repairs this year according to Highway England’s General Counsel, Tim Reardon. Such are the problems with the contractor in Area 9 that the process needs to be re-written, Tim having written:
From: tim reardon @ highwaysengland.co.uk
Sent: 27 March 2019 16:25
Cc: Jim O’Sullivan @ highwaysengland.co.uk
Subject: FW: DCP Rates
As you note from your discussions with Jim, Highways England is working on a schedule of repair costs for typical instances of damage to the strategic road network, or DCP. This new schedule of costs, which we intend to publish on Highways England’s website in April this year, will be piloted in Areas 3, 7 and 9 with a view to national roll-out. The new schedule of costs makes no distinction between above threshold and below threshold claims. All future claims in those Areas will be taken forward on the basis of the new schedule.
In Area 9, Kier have withheld bringing new DCP claims since January this year. Those outstanding claims will be taken forward on the basis of the new schedule of repair costs.
But the April 2019 rates have yet to materialize.
Highways England now (post 11/2018) state there are no ‘defined costs’ for the Area, no agreed schedule of rates. However, it is apparent Kier Highways are working to a pricing schedule as costs have remained consistent or varied slightly for years. Highways England are charged less than £25 / hour for an AIW, their vehicle consistently charged at about £15 / hour, irrespective of what time they are called upon. However, Third Parties (drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers), for an AIW operative are charged:
|Time||Uplift||Rate to a TP||Correct charge*|
|8am to 5pm weekdays||£65+ / hour||£29.07 / hour|
|5pm to 8am weekdays||1.5x||£97/ hour||£29.07 / hour|
|weekends||2x||£130 / hour||£29.07 / hour|
Kier claim the ‘multipliers’ or uplifts are what they pay their 8am to 5pm AIW staff, that it is a cost they incur.
From a Court transcript:, the Judge to Kier Highways claims manager
Q: “I am wondering what a core hour was”.Kier Highway’s
A: “Core hour is the 9** to 5 on Monday to Friday, because when the newer service, the AIW service came in it took away this 24/7 shift pattern that used to exist because I think the idea from Highways England was their trafﬁc ofﬁcers would be more of the ﬁrst responder a bit like our old ISUs were.
In practice that doesn‘t always work because they‘re not always skilled enough to deal with it, I don‘t think”
** a further clue all is not right, even the claims manager @ Kier cannot be consistent and stick with 8am to 5pm!
However, we understand AIW’s:
- work shifts
- are not paid the uplifts
- are paid flat-rate for overtime
It therefore appears the multipliers line the pockets of Kier Highways, that the charges are fraudulent. Kier have nailed their colours to the mast, documented these uplifts in the ‘Guide’ they present to deceive Third Parties:
Highways England have yet to explain why Kier’s Area’s 6&8 are seemingly unaffected by their current attention; the Areas use the same process as Area 9.
It also remains a mystery why they have only just taken this stance given we raised the issues in 10/2015 and met with the Authority providing documentary evidence of the conduct 21/06/2017. The Kier time-line can be found here. In 2016, Tim Reardon informed us that Highway England were charged £73.05 / hour for an AIW … either the cost to Highways England has reduced 3-fold or we were misled, provided false information.
*More about the Area 9 ‘correct charge’ can be ascertained here.
Area 3 charges can be found by clicking here