Given the regular exaggeration associated with Kier Highway’s invoicing process since they acquired Area 9 in 2014, it is possibly surprising to note their inability to settle the invoices of their suppliers. Kier Highways frequently appoint lawyers to recover monies from Third Parties (drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers) following damage to Crown property incidents. They add interest from day-one to their bills, possibly their suppliers should do likewise?
In 2013, we saw an incident attendance charge presented by Kier Highways, then EM Highway Services Limited, of about £125. That then became £1,500 and as of July 2014, it was a whopping £2,700, plus a £2,000 admin charge! Therefore the starting price of incident attendance was £4,700! Is it any wonder then company appeared attractive to Kier … their book was likely showing £millions in additional invoicing by the time the acquisition occurred in mid-2015
Kier’s casual approach to the inconvenience(?) of contracts has long been known to Highways England. Whilst we managed to put paid (no pun intended) to their ‘£4,700 / event’ methodology, what followed was an exaggeration in another guise, an alternative contract non-compliant process. Admittedly, they were assisted by the Highways England who kept the relevant section of the contract hidden, but even when the brief Appendix surfaced in January 2017, Highways England failed to put a stop to it.
Only now is Kier’s greed and a failure to address it, coming back to haunt Highways England who is struggling to replace the process (NSORC has thus far failed).
Why would Kier Highways care about the suspension? The tail wagging the dog, it is unlikely to affect their relationship with major suppliers … even aware of the issues about their conduct, Kier Highways were ‘gifted’ Areas 6 & 8 when Amey abandoned it, unable to make a profit.
To quote the late Robin Reams (SwiftCover & ARL); ‘you have a choice: hand over your dinner money to the bully in the playground or take a stand’ … 3 years ago!
More about companies suspended from the Prompt Payment Code for failing to pay suppliers on time can be read here.