Contractor Exaggeration & Profiteering

Fires & Spills on our roads have doubled … possibly due to the increase in litter and failure to address it.  But if this debris causes a fire / spill you will be blamed for ‘failure to maintain’ your vehicle without anyone questioning Highways England or their contractor failing to maintain the Highway.  Figures here.

As for the costs a driver, fleet, haulier or insurer will be presented to repair the road following a collision, fire or spill  … expect exaggeration .. possibly even fraud associated with the claim! We have attempted to convey the issue here.  As for fraud … it is bad enough being charged £65+ / hour for an operative that should be charged at about half this (and they often works in twos doubling the inflated figures!) but add to this ‘multipliers’:

  • 1.5x after 5pm of a weekday
  • 2x of a weekend

Kier claim that these uplifts are costs they incur because their operatives work 8am to 5pm (‘core hours’) in turn, that they pay the increased rate to their workers. Really? Their operatives contradict Kier’s explanation responses which has even been stated to Courts. We understand:

  • The operatives work shifts
  • They are NOT paid the uplifts
  • Even overtime is at flat-rate

Just how is the claim for the multipliers ‘honest’ and not profiteering?  It is common for collisions, fires and spills to occur after 5pm, during rush hour, in the dark.  These enhancements are applied to 100’s, likely 1,000’s of claims.

As for the exaggeration example (above), this was the claim presented to Highways England in person 21/06/2017. The facts were subsequently convey to KPMG 15/11/2017 – ‘Project Verde‘ – The Investigation of Kier Highways

The investigation apparently concluded late 2018 … without any changes. But we pressed home our concerns seeking the ‘base rates’ to be used only to be told ‘we have none’ … contracts since 2012 apparently had no set of rates Highways England were to be charged by their contractors!

As of 04/2019, Highway England assured us a new process and rates would be instigated … it is the end of May and we are still waiting.

If there are not serious problems in Area 9, why have Kier not issued a single Third Party invoice during 2019 and who directed this? For more about the Area 9 time line, click here.

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