Here we go again … Highways England say one thing, their contractor does another … the tail wags the dog?
27/03/2019 – email from Highway’s England’s General Counsel
‘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.’
26/06/2019 WDTK FoIA response
‘Kier have initially agreed to temporarily hold all new claims since January 2019 and to apply the National Schedule of Repair Costs to those claims.’
But, following a 12/03/2019 incident in Area 9, on 21/05/2019 Kier issued an invoice using their contract non-complaint process, not the new schedule of repairs. We raised this with Corclaim a.k.a. Shakespeare Martineau, solicitors to Kier Highways & Highways England and their response:
To our clients and our current knowledge there is nothing is place stating Kier Highways are under instruction to not bill Area 9.
If you are able to provide anything in support of this, I am more than happy to take this to our client to review, but to date we don’t believe this is the case.
In respect of the invoice date, Kier Highways have got a backlog of claims that they are processing.
We have provided a copy of FOI 770391 Area 9 and await a response. This follows hot on the heels of Highways England’s repeatedly directing us to the Courts to resolve matters yet seemingly being unaware their lawyers are objecting to us giving evidence citing ‘expert witness’. Yet 04/07/2019, Tim Reardon, Highways England’s General Counsel who has signed the authority for Kier to progress smatters to Court, said he was ‘more than happy for me to give evidence in court’ and did not see how he could block me.
It appears Highways England’s lawyers are not acting in accordance with their instructions.
We have previously conveyed Highways England’s inability to control their own lawyers – Have Highways England Lost Control?
A 2018 incident/repair is billed 05/2019 using the post 10/2015 schedule of rates. Corclaim (Shakespeare Martineau solicitors) acting for Kier and Highways England will arrange to reprice using NSORC. CMA ref: X08C239