National Schedule of Repair Costs for Network Damage
For years, Highways England contractors have retained some claims following Damage to Crown Property (DCP) billing the Third Party and pursuing recovery of the money themselves.
Under HE’s Asset Support Contracts (ASC) these claims are mainly dealt with in two ways:
- if the value of the damage is under £10,000 then the service provider is responsible for the damage and the recovery of costs from the third party.
- if the value of the damage is over £10,000 the service provider(contractor) carries out the repair, but HE pursues the claim.
Under HE’s newer Asset Delivery (AD) contracts, the repairs are carried out by the service provider and the claims are managed and pursued by Highways England.
The ASC process (above) has given rise to many disputes with some matters currently the subject of a ‘stay’ in South Wales courts. We are therefore encouraged by the Authority’s intention to address the issues particularly:
- giving the insurance industry the benefit of the rates that it has been able to secure in a competitive market.
It is early days and there is much work to be done to ensure a workable solution is provided. The relevant history is as follows:
24/06/2019 – Highways England introduce ‘a national schedule of repair costs for network damage (Green Claims)‘
- Kier Highways Area incident 24/06/2019 – invoice issued subsequently to include admin’ post-24/06/2019. KHL use ‘defined costs’ + fee to Highways England and NOT NSORC. The claim:
- includes a 7.4% uplift on base rates i.e. the rates the Authority has been able to secure in a competitive market can be identified as at the commencement of NSORC (rates here for registered users).
03/07/2019 – email to NSORC (copy)
04/07/2019 – 1-hour conversation re NSORC (notes)
05/07/2019 – report to NSORC and brief email:
As a brief follow-up, the derived rates cannot be commercially sensitive because they are not attributed to any one service provider and they are held out as a market benchmark, much in the same way standard tariffs for credit hire are published. Therefore, they should represent the reasonable market rate for carrying out such works, which is what I am trying to understand; what assumptions have been made, the origin of the rates and the composition which add up to the global figures given.
DCP Rates are agreed not to be commercially sensitive.
Without such scrutiny it is difficult to see how the market upon which they are being imposed will accept them, in the same way that the previous ‘market agreed’ rates proposed by certain contractors were exposed as being a means to subsidise unattributable and non-fault damage.
23/07/2019 – 2nd version of NSORC (v1.1)
12/08/2019 – 3rd version of NSORC (v1.2).
No response to 03/07/2019, no information provided. Request progressed by way of FoI.
12/09/2019 – no information provided in response to 12/08/2019 FoIA (above). Request Internal Review.