Profiteering from a contract with Highways England by overcharging and/or misleading drivers, fleets, hauliers (or their insurers), referred to as ‘Third-Parties’, who cause damage to the Strategic Road Network (SRN):
- Why make your contractor play by the rules, preventing rip-off and profiteering when you can change the rules to allow the conduct to continue?
For years, in some areas, Third Parties (drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers) should have been charged for damage they caused (attendance and repairs) using the process applied to bills presented to the Authority:
- a base rate and
- an uplift.
A simple process which leaves little room for profiteering. But Kier Highways never compiled with the methodology and the Authority failed to enforce the process! Instead, from 01/07/2014
- Kier engaged their own contract non-compliant process in Area 9
- Kier did not mention the ‘agreed rules’
- Highways England failed to place the process online
- The Authority never once mentioned the Appendix in emails or conversations
The protection created specifically for Third parties was kept from them with the Authority failing to ensure the contract was complied with.
But the Authority has addressed this … they changed the contract to suit their contractor, not those they serve! Who is in control at Highways England? It appears contractors.
Highways England have engaged lawyers to enforce claims … the very same lawyers Kier used to ensure their exaggerated bills, solicitors who will apply a law they appear to believe creates a moral dilemma (their post appears at the link – they have now removed it … we wonder why). No such dilemma for the Authority?
It appears Highways England’s 20% recovery rate and a backlog of 2,500 claims will now be progressed on a ‘profiting from claims’ perspective.
It is revealing to note how Highways England chose to hide behind lawyers rather than comply with their obligations to include those under Freedom of Information legislation. The underlying reason is that the true facts, if revealed, show a history of incompetence and greed, at the expense of the public purse and motorists unlucky enough to be involved in damage to Crown property (‘DCP’). Read more here.