And so it appears this is the approach Highways England have adopted to their contractors, such as Kier Highways …
When they learned repair paperwork did not support the costs they were paying … they gave up supplying it to Third Parties (drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers) when demanding payment.
For example, you would expect a claim for the repair of a single post in the central reservation to be a straightforward matter, supported by documentation, capable of being priced accurately, the contractor paid with little question and recovery pursued from the at-fault party promptly. But Kier has demonstrated that they have little regard for contracts and agreed uplifts abusing the ‘self-regulating’ process that was the ASC (contract).
It is therefore hardly surprising we have never encountered a correctly priced Kier Highways claim!
With regard to the one post-repair, Highways England’s sausage-factory approach to such matters, their acknowledged failure to reconcile claims pre-payment, saw full payment despite obvious anomalies some of which give a brief insight into our world of trying to ensure Third-Parties pay what they should …
- Attendance did not involve operatives being sent to the location – they stumbled upon the damage. A charge for travel to and from is, therefore, unnecessary.
- Traffic Management (TM) records detail the two night-time repair installations, during 2 shifts. Odd, the works are said to have been completed in one 4-hour period and … during the day!
- The works appear to have been completed under ‘planned works’. These are works, such as litter picking, for which the Authority has already paid, at least for the TM required to create a safe environment in which to work … be it litter-pick, repair or both
BUT … maybe there were no HE-paid-for activities occurring but another reason for the repair to occur weeks after the damage discovery. The Authority appears to have ‘overlooked’ the repair of one damaged post required an awful lot of TM. But had they read the scant documentation provided, an explanation was present:
The closure covered TWO repairs. It appears our client is not the only one being billed for Traffic Management.
Let us not forget the required images, so important that they are highlighted in larger font (above). The above extract from a contractor document appears to require no explanation … but to quote Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England’s CEO “… we are dealing with one of the less sophisticated ends of the construction industry”.
It will come as no surprise images of the damage were lacking. We were supplied a picture of the replaced post – a photo’ taken in daylight.
DOCUMENTATION – the devil is in the detail. You should expect no less than that which the Authority required when settling above £10,000 claims and a list can be found here.
If you have been presented the Area 10 claim, pre 01/04/2019 at MP547/4 (above) we would like to hear from you. Oddly, the Authority has our claim, not the other …