200507 Complaint – Use of Appendix A in S Wales Matters

07/05/2020 Subject: FORMAL COMPLAINT – state enabled exaggeration and fraud on an industrial scale

Dear Sirs,

I refer to the email from Mr Bingham of 16/03/2020, in respect of Kier Highways billing, specifically his statement:

  • These changes do not affect any cases where legal proceedings have already been issued
  • These have been priced using the procedure set at Appendix A to Annex 23.
  • This includes the cases before Cardiff County Court to which you refer.

I have attempted to obtain information in support of the above statements by use of FoIA but received the response ‘I can confirm, in accordance with Section 1(1)(a) of FOIA, that we do not hold this information.’ It appears there is no evidence to support the above statement. This is unsurprising, the statement is incorrect.

I have reviewed the 15 stayed claims in our possession and Appendix A to Annex 23 has not been complied with in any. In addition to the failure to use ‘defined’ or ‘actual’ costs, some claims included the application of multipliers; costs being sought by Highways England that are not incurred.

1. I am concerned that Mr Bingham has made false representations.

Additionally:

2. Mr Bingham has failed to investigate my allegations of exaggeration and fraud, furthermore,

3. it is apparent he has no understanding of the image tampering issues reported to you, the subject of lacklustre enquiry and in respect of which more can be read here https://www.englandhighways.co.uk/highways-englands-gullibility-or-complicity/ , his email of 04/05/2020 is attached.

Yours faithfully,


From: Philip Swift
Sent: 07 July 2020 15:24
To: ‘Jim.O’Sullivan@highwaysengland.co.uk’ <Jim.O’Sullivan@highwaysengland.co.uk>; ‘Matthews, Colin’ <Colin.Matthews@highwaysengland.co.uk>
Subject: RE: FORMAL COMPLAINT – state enabled exaggeration and fraud on an industrial scale

Copy 07/07/2020 – please escalate the issue or pass to the ICA

Mr Bingham’s statements:

• (claims) ‘have been priced using the procedure set at Appendix A to Annex 23’ and

• ’This includes the cases before Cardiff County Court to which you refer’.

Are false.

The claims have not been priced in accordance with Appendix A to Annex 23 – https://www.englandhighways.co.uk/example-of-area-9-exaggeration/. Furthermore, many have attracted multipliers to operative hourly rate and this profiteering amounts to fraud; we are told the operatives work shifts, are not paid the uplifts and even overtime is at flat rate. On what basis are multipliers been applied and demanded?

The claims being progressed in the name of Highways England contain false aspects which you have repeatedly failed to address https://www.englandhighways.co.uk/200402-highways-england-re-contract-non-compliance-fraud/

Noting your spend with Kier, the extent of the profiteering, it appears Highways England is so compromised as to be ineffective; the tail wags the dog. Clearly there is something amiss. In early 2019, I spoke with Mr O’Sullivan and asked:

“do you believe that that appendix* is good and should be complied with?”

To which he responded:

“Well yes, it’s the contract.”

Yet Jim O’Sullivan has failed to ensure the contract was complied with and I note this has more recently been changed. Not, as one would expect, to ensure compliance by the contractor but to enable them to use a new process that sees exploitation of the public the Authority is to serve – backdated to 07/01/2019.

*Appendix A (https://www.englandhighways.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Area-9-Appendix-A-to-Annex-23.pdf) the small section of the 01/07/2014 contract that protects the public yet which Kier ignored form day-one, and Highway England failed to enforce or turned a blind eye to.

Yours,

P. Swift


in response to:

From: Reardon, Tim <tim.reardon@highwaysengland.co.uk>
Sent: 08 July 2020 16:27
To: Philip Swift <pswift@cmaclaims.co.uk>
Cc: Bingham, Alex <Alex.Bingham@highwaysengland.co.uk>; HLC Complaints <HLCComplaints@highwaysengland.co.uk>
Subject: Various complaints

Dear Mr Swift

Your complaints set out in your emails of 4 May 19.17, 7 July 15.24 and 7 July 16.13 have been escalated to me to reply.

The complaint in your email of 4 May (HLC case no. 26673904) relates to image tampering of photographs of damage. As Alex Bingham set out in his email, we have taken this matter up with Kier Highways and we have reported to you their reply. We have no reason to believe images have been tampered with, but it is open to you to raise the issue with Kier directly or with the judge in the relevant court proceedings. I have no further comment to make.

The complaint in your email of 7 July at 15.24 (HLC case no. 21673900) relates to Kier Highways billing for repairs and cases that are currently before the Cardiff County Court. The issues you raise may well be addressed in the hearing into the two test cases which I understand is due to take place on 17 July. We await the outcome of those proceedings which may well have a bearing on your cases. In the meantime it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.

In relation to the complaint in your email of 7 July at 16.13 (HLC case no. 21673917), I can provide no more information relating to the 2015 list of plant rates beyond what I set out to you in my email of 30 April. We are looking into the existence or otherwise of the document Area 9 DCP 35010.

We have handled your correspondence in accordance with the second stage of Highways England’s complaints process. For further details, please see here. If you are unhappy with this response you may refer the matter to the ICA.Yours sincerely

Tim Reardon

Tim Reardon
General Counsel
General Counsel Directorate
Highways England | Bridge House | 1 Walnut Tree Close | Guildford | Surrey | GU1 4LZ
Tel: 044 (0) 300 470 1224
Mob: 07525 908857 Web: www.highwaysengland.co.uk

EA Valentini Manikou Tel: 044 (0) 300 470 8335. Mob: 07907 979551
Valentini.Manikou@highwaysengland.co.uk