200204 ASC Rates ARE Used To Work Out The Defined Cost

‘tendered contract rates ARE used to estimate third-party claims work to establish if they are above or below the threshold.’

04/02/2020 From FOI Advice, Highways England Company Limited in response to the following request for clarification regarding:

4. All information about the rates you, the Authority, will be pay; whether
they are identical rates to those a Third Party is to be charged and if
not, how this differs and why.

The teams’ response to this was ‘Highways England’s agreed tendered rates with our Service Providers are Commercially Sensitive. This includes the variance with the NSoRC since it could be used to determine the Commercially Sensitive rates.’ Having discussed this with the team we have
concluded that this did not provide a clear enough response. The response should have been as follows – Highways England are charged Defined Cost plus Fee. For clarity the rates that exist are the tendered contract rates which are withheld under Section 43 commercial interests as stated above. No other rates exist


  • are you saying the ‘defined costs’ you are charged above the threshold are
    the tendered contract rates? To which the answer is no
  • if not, please clarify clarification as set out below
  • If so, please advise since when this has been the case in respect of each

Highways England Response: 

We consider that the response was adequate (your amends are noted) but
thought that as a response we could issue a further clarification.

Further clarification:

Highways England is charged the Defined Cost plus Fee in relation to third
party claims. The Defined Cost is, in effect, an actual cost and is not
derived from a schedule of rates.

In Asset Support Contract (ASC) the tendered contract rates are contained
in the Pricing Schedule and used to set Target Prices for schemes and
estimate third party claims work to establish if they are above or below
the threshold.

There is no schedule of rates for third party claim costs in ASCs.
Neither the third party nor Highways England are billed on the basis of
the tendered schedule of rates.

The model Conditions of Contract for Highways England Asset Support
Contracts (ASC) is publicly available online

Kind Regards

Jonathan Drysdale
Freedom of Information Officer (HE)
Information & Technology
Highways England | Piccadilly Gate | Store Street | Manchester | M1 2WD
Web: http://highwaysengland.co.uk