Area 9 (Kier Highways Ltd) and Area 10 (BBMM) rates for repairs to the Strategic Road Network (SRN) following damage to Crown Property (DCP) …
Does a schedule, a price list, exist?
We believe the answer is ‘YES’ and that the Authority is keeping these secret to avoid criticism (or worse) for permitting overcharging, contract non-compliance and fraud.
From contract commencement, a schedule(s) of rates are or was held by Highways England (HE) at 11/12/2018. We believe ‘held’ extends to ‘held on behalf’ of HE by their contractor. The background is NOT convoluted.
In appeal GIA/793/2019 HE relied on s.14 of the FoIA when I sought Damage to Crown Property (DCP) rates. The IC supported the Authority. I do not believe the IC considered the evidence due to a resources issue and admitted difficulty with complex matters such as mine. My submission to the Tribunal (GIA/793/2019) not only convinced a Judge to overturn the exemption but report:
- the requestor had a serious purpose and arose from genuine and informed concern but had significant value with a high degree of Public Interest.’
- we could not find the request were inappropriate or an improper use of FOIA.
- we do not accept that there could or should have been any harassment.
- inadequate or inaccurate responses by the personnel within Public Authority.
- he (Mr Swift) has received erroneous information.
- The Authority should comply with the law.
It should be noted that the Judge found I was not vexatious, and had raised matters of general importance and public interest. It is perhaps not unexpected that HE only then adopted the alternative strategy of stating that they had never held the requested information in the first instance. This is not credible.
SIAN JONES STATEMENT
Authority evidence in GIA/793/2019 included a statement by HE employee Sian Jones claiming I made 57 requests for information or internal review (IR) of HE. However, absent is:
- the time period; 2013 to 2018 (5 years)
- Ms Jones’ recording a further 118 requests/reviews I am said to have annotated on the WhatDoTheyKnow (WDTK) web site.
- Any reference to a schedule of rates being non-existent, not held; it never arose
Sian Jones’ statement supports the existence of a schedule of rates:
- section 1(1) of the FoIA states any person making a request for information is entitled (a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information.
There is a duty to confirm or deny. Ms Jones, formerly employed by the ICO, collated 175 rate-related requests/reviews (57 + 118):
- To NONE the 175 requests/reviews (88 requests) did HE respond ‘NOT held’.
- No request, review or PIT revealed to HE staff they were looking at the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’.
10/10/2019, I sought the number of ‘held’ responses by use of FoIA (WDTK). HE again in breach of the FoIA, failed to respond. The matter is with the IC 44703-Y9Z8.
12/11/2019, before a Tribunal, Christina Michalos, Counsel to HE, said there were 15 ‘HELD’ responses. The basis of this knowledge is unknown.
DCP NOT ASC RATES
Ms Jones clearly understood I was seeking rates for Damage to Crown Property repairs (DCP Rates) stating:
‘I believe that the majority of Mr Swift’s requests relate to a specific issue or related issues, namely the rates that contractors charge third parties for the costs of repairing damage to highways resulting from accidents/negligence’ – ‘Green Claims (l understand this refers to claims relating to damage to highways caused by an accident or negligent driving)…’
HE states there is only ONE set of rates associated with an ASC (contract); those for ‘planned’ or ‘scheme’ works these are ‘ASC Rates’ and ‘commercially sensitive’. I have neither taken issue with this stance to ASC Rates nor sought the rates.
The Authority appears keen to convince others that I do not understand the distinction. This is wrong, it is the difference that is important and Ms Jones has no trouble identifying what my requests (on a theme) are about. Ms Jones makes no suggestion I am seeking anything else; again, this only occurs post-12/2018 Tribunal finding I am not vexatious but persistent in the face of the Authority failing to comply with their legal obligations. ‘ASC Rates’ are a distraction, irrelevant.
Also, the Tribunal found for me unaware HE would subsequently claim ‘not held’; that the information did not and has never existed. Post 12/2018, HE not only states ‘not held’ to requests but qualifies this by reference to the immaterial ‘ASC rates’.
I have provided HE ample opportunity to address the exaggeration and fraud (which I differentiate). My detailed, corroborated allegations were first presented to HE’s head of Green Claims, Sarah Green, in person, at my offices (21/06/2017). Mrs Green left with documentary evidence in support of my statements and the following day phoned raising the possibility of engaging the Authority’s fraud unit. 11/2017, at Mrs Green’s request I spoke with KPMG reiterating the allegations about DCP rates; contract non-compliant processes, misrepresentations to parties, to include Courts, and fraud. Progressed by HE/KPMG as ‘Project Verde’ I was kept from the subsequent report
I understand KPMG reported to HE in early 2018. 02/2018, Mrs Green spoke with me advising she was trying to get to the bottom of
“What is the schedule of rates that is used to calculate, and how is that schedule of rates worked out basically, on what basis is that, and why? So does it differ from, forgive me, is it Annex 23? And if so, why?” .
02/2018, when I asked Mrs Green for the schedule of rates, Sarah replied
“it’s all mopped up in the audit, so I can’t release, because if I release one bit of information it’s not necessarily going to all make sense, so it needs to all come as a package.”
The schedule was never released, I never received the assured ‘package’.
Even appointing KPMG in 2017, detailed attention failed to discover the schedule at the heart of the exaggeration and fraud did not exist This was only ‘discovered’ 11/2018 when the Tribunal required that the Authority disclose the schedule(s). I have sought the KPMG report via a 25/11/2019 FoIA request refused by HE, who would ‘neither confirm nor deny whether they held the information! This is with the IC-40443-T6L2.
I openly and honestly refer to my evidenced concerns, which provide a motive for keeping DCP rates secret, as ‘state-enabled exaggeration and fraud on an industrial scale’ because this has occurred. Some contractors have overcharged TP’s for years upon the basis they act and are making recoveries on HE’s behalf in accordance with agreed rates.
Mr Patrick Carney. HE misrepresents my stance toward Mr Carney particularly given my 12/11/2019 (Tribunal) comments I believe are in correspondence; I have conveyed my indebtedness to Patrick for differentiating between ‘ASC’ and ‘DCP’ rates. However:
23/05/2018, HE addressed a FoI request about DCP events & rates (762,168) an extract reads
‘I am told this is not commercially sensitive and you say the rates are detailed on claims so why would it be. I am asking for the rates’.
There was no mention of ‘not held’. HE utilised s43(1&2) adding
‘The disclosure of rates in support of a claim as claim packs to the insurer of the Third Party is different to the disclosure of rates to the world at large’.
That day, Mr Carney was a member of the PIT upholding the ‘sensitivity’ exemption for 762,168 commenting on objection by contractors (seemingly someone sought their response). The PIT added:
‘the cost of locating and extracting the information necessary to comply with the request would exceed the appropriate limit set out under s12 of FOIA’e.
The information existed, an assessment had been made about the cost of extraction and provision.
13/07/2018, Mr Carney wrote to Kier, BBMM, Atkins, AOne+ & Amey re. Tribunal EA/2019/011
‘We are currently in the process of providing information with respect to an ICO appeal – FoI Tribunal Appeal (reference) which, if unsuccessful, could result in the disclosure of the Rates, Prices, Overheads and Fee percentages applied to Defined Costs by our service providers for Damage to Crown Property works’.
Mr Carney leaves the recipient in no doubt this is about DCP and defined costs (rates). Yet Mr Carney now wishes me to accept he was asking about non-existent information, that not one contractor queried this, all responding the data is ‘commercially sensitive’.
Brian Read left BBMM 29/03/2019. 19/02/2019 I emailed Mr Read at BBMM concerned BBMM (Luke Ellis) appeared to be misrepresenting facts to Courts:
- That use of CECA rates was agreed with HE. They were not but BBMM did indicate they would use ‘cost’ i.e. they possessed these rates.
- There are no other rates, save for CECA. There is clearly the above threshold schedule – see Area 10 below – and ‘cost’.
- The lumpsum duty (monthly payment) affects the above threshold rates for culprit identified claims. It does not.
I asked Mr Read to provide the schedule of DCP Rates (above threshold). Mr Read responded :
It is clear that continued correspondence with you on these issues is fruitless and we are not prepared to engage in your efforts to re-litigate these matters in such correspondence.’
The schedule was not disclosed.
Greg Barnes is the subject of concerns I raised with HE following what appears to be misrepresentation in Court statements.
Luke Ellis’ support of a ‘schedule of rates’ is cited at ‘Area 10’ below.
David Ash explains ‘Under the SOCC, people rates comprise more than twenty different cost components (not according to Kier). However, ‘Kier periodically adjust their people rates’; the period is not described, nor why the rates have been withheld, to include those annexed which support my contention; defined costs are sub-£25/hr for an operative and do not become £70+ by applying the TPCO of 25.29%.
Conveying the above history it may be apparent why an FoIA request for DCP rates was made 11/12/2018. The phraseology I believe is clear;
- I had no reason to believe the information was ‘not held’ all responses identified ‘held’ but ‘sensitive’.
In my many dealings HE & Kier I only received responses supporting the existence of a price list. The ‘vexatious’ & ‘commercially sensitive’ exemptions had fallen away. The request was not ‘threshold’ specific; rates to HE and TP’s would be captured..
HE’s contract with Kier was specific about TP claims, set out one process. From the off (01/07/2014), Kier ignored the process (Appendix A to Annex 23) and:
- used a process that grossly exaggerated claims, obviously inappropriate (1153)
- never once mentioned Appendix A in our exchanges, meetings or calls
- seem to act beyond HE’s authority pursuing litigation against TP’s (contempt of Court?)
- HE did not place Appendix A on-line, unlike other sections of the contract.
- HE never once mentioned Appendix A in our exchanges or calls
Appendix A, preventing TP’s being overcharged by contractors, was kept from them. HE & Kier, aware of the Appendix kept it secret; coincidence or complicity?
I explained to HE the contract contained one methodology, that the presence of two (more) was clear evidence of contract non-compliance.
Broadly speaking, there are two ways in which monies are recovered but Ms Michalos has not conveyed these accurately, resulting in the Court being misled.
Whilst a threshold existed in Areas 9 & 10 charging differences existed:
- In Area 9 (Kier) Appendix A was the contractually agreed process never utilised by Kier. Above £10k, to HE, Kier used ‘defined (actual) costs that should have been utilised below £10k but were not. The process was simple; a common set of rates to which an agreed uplift percentage is added.
- In Area 10, there was no ‘Appendix A’. Above threshold, a schedule of rates is used. Below £10k BBMM apply CECA rates. I possess a copy of CECA rates.
The Authority has been charged ‘defined costs’ above threshold and their web site conveys as of 31/10/2019 :
What happens next? We will revert to pursuing claims based on the actual cost of carrying out the repairs and will continue to explore options for a transparent and equitable set of rates’.
Therefore, I can determine the ‘actual costs’ for some items on some days by reference to above-threshold claim data. I have done so and HE rates are NOT used for TP’s.
The Authority has recently stated stayed matters at Cardiff Court are calculated using Appendix A. This is untrue and subject to a complaint.
Ms Michalos confirms the use of ‘actual costs’ above the threshold. This is important as I believe this to be the case; HE knows the ‘rules of the game’ (the agreement) and cannot be duped by use of higher, secretive rates hence Kier complies with the terms. However:
- Ms Michalos’ does not explain ‘actual costs’ in Area 9, used to bill HE, are to be the same as those used to bill a TP – they should be a common schedule. The use of ‘actual costs’ for both parties has been conveyed to me and the Courts by Kier.
- A difference in charges should arise because HE & TP’s are subject to differing uplifts. Economies of scale are irrelevant, another distraction. The difference should be the uplift variance, about 18.29%, in Area 9:
- About 8% to the Authority
- 25.29% to a TP (Area 9)
- The obviousness of the cost + uplift process being agreed is evidenced by the TPCO (uplift) percentage (25.29%). Why establish the uplift (to add to the total of ‘actual costs’) if this were never to be utilised? ‘Cost-Plus’ (or Cost+) has never been engaged by Kier when billing TP’s.
Ms Michalos makes no reference to Appendix A but states ‘Under the ASC, contractors are entitled to recover for matters such as administration, legal costs and overheads’ in respect of sub-£10k matters, I question whether this is relevant or accurate:
- TP’s are not a party to the ASC; terms cannot be forced upon them. What the Authority can recover is determined by established principles. But:
- The contract contains Appendix A determining how the ‘maximum’ charge is to be achieved by Kier. It is this which is pertinent. It has never been complied with (though HE & Kier state to the contrary). Ms Michalos is silent about the document which goes to the heart of the issue.
The mechanism by which costs are calculated should involve common rates plus differing uplifts. The process is transparent, easy to apply.
Whether there are economies of scale is irrelevant from a pricing procedure perspective. The process is to charge by an hourly rate.
Ms Michalos’ ‘simple illustration’ is flawed. There is an obvious disproportionate cost associated with a small claim compared to a large. Repairing one 4.8m length of the barrier may take an hour to attend the scene by a Traffic Management (TM) crew (plant and operatives) with a Repair team (plant, operatives & materials) an hour to repair, an hour to return – 66% of the associated time is travel. Repairing ten 4.8m lengths of barrier at the location involves the same travel time and possible 8 hours to repair – 20% of the time is associated with travel. But, this is misleading because the issue is one of the ‘rates’ (not economies or total cost).
Operatives and plant attending to the one or ten lengths of VRS (vehicle restraint system) have a constant ‘actual cost’ hourly rate. The number/multiple of these rates (hours) will be greater for a larger incident. This is the pricing methodology. Time engaged does not affect the hourly rates; the actual cost of an operative, the pre-profit figure.
The invoice-route is determined by the threshold but ascertaining whether a repair is below or above threshold requires a price list, a schedule of costs.
HE responded to this request on 10 January 2019:
” … as each incident is treated on its own merits HE do not use or possess a Schedule of Damage to Crown Property Rates in Asset Support Contracts.”
However, the statements are not mutually exclusive; each incident is obviously treated on its own merits (no two are the same). Pricing is by reference to a schedule of hourly rates. Kier clearly holds rate information and utilise schedules when stepping into the shoes of HE above or below the threshold.
Captured by this FoIA request, pre-10/2015, is Kier’s ‘1153’ process, a contract non-compliant methodology; Kier divided annual incident attendance costs by incidents (1153) per annum. Kier gushed with rate figures, ‘sensitivity’ was not mentioned; annual costs were supplied, hourly rates could be calculated (about £32/hour for an AIW). 2 AIW’s for 4 hours plus vehicle (@ 15 / hour) total about £320. £2,700 was charged.
10/2015, the game was up for Kier; we had identified the obvious 1153 profiteering:
- £2700 attendance by 2 operatives for about 4 hours max., was an abuse.
- 1153 saw TP’s paying 100% of an AIW’s annual cost to include litter-picking, grass cutting etc. yet HE had paid this in Kier’s monthly lump sum payment.
- HE were not charged by use of the 1153 process – yet 1153 was all events.
- I learned Kier were actually attending about 5,400 incidents / annum, not 1153 i.e. costs were exaggerated almost 5-fold by this ‘error’ alone.
Third Parties are owed £millions due to a process Kier adopted in the name of Highway England unsupervised or the process turned a blind-eye to by the Authority.
10/2015, I hoped Kier’s new process would be reasonable, transparent and honest, but the replacement was exaggeration in another guise, plus fraud.
2016, an AIW’s hourly rate deconstructed by Kier who provided the ‘defined cost calculated in accordance with the definition’ identified 17 components (salary, NI etc.), each assigned a cost giving rise to the total, the actual cost or ‘defined cost’, a rate. ‘Defined Costs’ are NOT a definition but the result of applying the definition, the defined elements; the facets Kier may include, each having a cost, the total being the rate. Kier stated the defined cost was £58.32/hour to which was added the TPCO of 20.58% giving a total of £32/hour. In Area 9, Kier applied a TPCO of 25.29% to the defined cost giving a charge of about £73.05/hour.
Rates were constant to a Third Party for over a year. Therefore if, as HE and Kier claim, the contract was being complied with, the rate to HE was a constant, a schedule is available and charge rates simple to acquire and disclose. But rates to HE were not constant and varied between individual AIW’s. The Cardiff Court matters evidence a constant rate and contract non-compliance, contrary to HE’s assertion.
If the ‘actual cost’ to a TP and HE was common HE would be charged £58.32/hour plus 8%. But I received and collated above threshold claims. The charge to HE for an AIW was £23.71 + 8% ‘fee’ approx.
05/2018, £23.71 and variable rates to HE were confirmed in response to FoI FS50664292. The math’ identifies falsification; it is not possible to achieve £70+/hour by applying 25.29% to £23.71. Furthermore, rates charged to HE varied between individual AIW’s yet were a constant to a TP (£70.32/hour or £73.05/hour)
RATES ARE HELD – THEY WERE PROVIDED
27/03/2018, the ICO issued DN FS50664292 to my TP claims manager advising:
- The complainant has requested information on the rates a particular contractor [Kier] charges HE for its staff, known as Asset Incident Watchmen (AIW), to attend incidents on the routes it is responsible for. HE have refused the request under section 43(2) of the FOIA on the basis that disclosure would prejudice the commercial interests of both itself and the contractor.
One of the 175 requests/reviews Ms Jones of HE collated, ‘not held’ does not feature. Indeed, the rates were not just held, they were The IC’s DN continues:
- … the investigation explored whether the information was held at all and also whether the cost of collating that information would exceed the cost threshold …
- Based on HE’s responses the Commissioner was not satisfied that HE did not hold the requested information or by its arguments around the cost …
HE disclosed AIW rate information; it is HELD, albeit HE sought the data from Kier.
The cost of an AIW in Area 9 was less than £25/hour, HE advising ‘The data has been captured for rates in use between the 1st January 2014 to 23rd September 2016 for all of Kier Operating Contracts that have a role of AIW’.
The DCP Pricing Environment
The ‘defined costs are a definition’ is misleading; the definition gives rise to a schedule of rates in its application. Occasionally, an incident is attended upon and a repair is completed within a short window (a few days). Commonly, events occur on day-1, attended to promptly with repairs occurring weeks later, requiring 2 or 3 visits. The total cost of a repair is determined and invoiced upon completion; how does Kier bill at varying dates if not by reference to a set of rates? How is a charge assigned at each date an operative/ plant) is engaged if these rates are ‘fluid’, changing (daily?)?
COST BREAKDOWN DOCUMENT (CBD)
Kier Highways used a CBD (at the time of this request) to set out their charges to a TP.
2020, I was made aware the CBD is not a stand-alone spreadsheet, but contains links or references to other workbooks, to schedules of rates. . This cross-referencing of electronic documents creates an external reference (link) to a cell or range of cells in another workbook, the totality of which generates consistency in rates charged and can be summarised for audit and review purposes. I received file names for schedules of rates that link to (populate) the CBD.
28/04/2020, I asked Mr Reardon about Area_3_equipment_Defined_Costxls
30/04/2020, within 3 days, Mr Reardon had approached Kier and confirmed the file reference is for an ‘outdated’, ‘unavailable’ schedule of rates, used from 2015 i.e. captured by this request. I promptly presented further file names to Mr Reardon for Areas 9 (Area 9 DCP 35010 costs.xlsx) and Area 10 with deletion dates (assuming these too were to be kept from me). I am sceptical about the deletion of information:
- pertinent to Cardiff Court matters i.e. destruction of evidence
- necessary to be retained for Inland Revenue/accounting purposes.
- Held electronically, that would engage little storage and likely backed-up
28/05/2020, having not received a response about ‘Area 9 DCP’ I turned to FoIA HE ref. FOI 101124. By 27/07/2020, I had not received the information and sought an IR.
08/07/2020, Tim Reardon wrote: ‘We are looking into the existence or otherwise of the document ‘Area 9 DCP 35010’.
28/08/2020, HE U-turned, refused the request citing ‘vexatious’. IC-44033-Q9Y5.
The Tribunal matter EA/2019/0119 (12/11/2019) involved the release of a CBD to me (112/003/SG219, Kier references GC19599 / INC67003). The CBD, in Excel format, has no such links, it appears the document has been tampered with.
If further evidence was required that a schedule of rates, a price list exists:
AREA 9 KIER – evidence a schedule of rates exist:
28/11/2014, HE audited Kier and found ‘staff costs were not based upon a clear/approved methodology. The costs are calculated by the DCP team and based upon their 4 years’ experience dealing with previous claims of a similar nature’. As a result, ‘insurers could reject claims’. This was to be part of a ‘process review’ the short-term action being ‘develop and implement a methodology that offers more clarity and traceability of staff costs on Green Claims’. No mention of DCP rates being non-existent, missing. No subsequent audit has been disclosed to me.
23/03/2016, Tim Reardon had seen the rates advising me in a phone call “The rates look to be similar, the schedule of rates look to be similar. There do seem to be differences in the way that costs are applied … overheads are applied, between what they charge us and then what they charge insurers.“
05/04/2016, Tim Reardon provided me with 12/2015 HE rates from Kier, these were incorrect.
21/11/2016 Jim O’Sullivan (HE’s CEO) wrote ‘I also want to ensure that drivers only pay appropriately for the damage they do to Crown property. I’m sure the current process could be simpler and I know Tim and Nick will be working to achieve this. We are certainly putting a lot of effort into reconciling the past costs that you are talking about.’ The ‘effort’ failed to note the lack of a price list (because it was present?) and has been kept from me. I am again forced to utilise FoIA, IC-39115-Y4Q1.
04/01/2019, shortly after the ‘vexatious’ tribunal finding and HE was claiming ‘not held, no such thing’ I spoke with Jim O’Sullivan, who informed me “You know, the very minimum that is going to happen as a result of this call, or certainly as a result of the judgment is that we will have a schedule of rates published by Kier, so that this thing is transparent”. No schedule has been provided.
29/04/2029, the ICO wrote (EA/2019/0119) ‘If indeed the Appellant’s request sought DCP rates as opposed to ASC contract definitions it would appear that HE’s response that such information does not exist is incorrect, as in a previous DN, it was ruled that DCP rates do in fact exist but they are commercially sensitive’. DCP rates were sought.
2019, I wrote to the National Audit Office raising a concern that there was no price list for DCP works. 14/05/2019, The NAO met with HE to discuss this specific issue and kept a note of the meeting confirming a schedule of rates existed. When I cited this, HE claimed the NAO misunderstood (the only purpose of the meeting), the NAO agreed, U-turned and have failed to address my resulting questions.
24/06/2019, HE introduced their new schedule of rates (the NSoRC). I spoke to the HE employee heading this and was informed the team had looked at the AREA 9 SCHEDULE OF RATES. I asked for a copy and whilst they did not think this would be an issue, they would have to run it by ‘Legal’ (General Counsel’s office?). I never received the information. I again engaged FoIA IC-45264-D1R9
12/11/2019, Christina Michalos, before a Tribunal, stated the cost of providing the rates would be too expensive; not impossible, unavailable or ‘not held’..
AREA 10 BBMM
The Area 10 request relates to above-threshold rates used to bill the Authority and no other. The Authority has approached contractors for information in other matters, even sub-threshold. Why not now? This issue is with the ICO and understand they find HE’s response, no approach to BBMM, ‘odd’.
15/02/2018, a judgement refers to evidence given to the Court by Luke Ellis a claims handler for BBMM seemingly of sufficient standing to give evidence on multiple claims. His evidence was (as recited by the Judge’s reasoning and summary):
- ‘BBMM do have agreed rates with HE for repairs where the total is over £10,000.’
- ‘repairs (over £10,000) HE claims against the tortfeasor and claims the repair cost calculated by reference to rates agreed with BBMM for works over £10,000’
- £10,000 + rates were negotiated prescribed rates which were in part subsidised by the lump sum paid under the agreement
- I also accept Mr Ellis’s evidence that the £10,000 + repair rates are subsidised in part by the lump sum payment
- They are to that extent artificial in that they do not stand alone as representing the price of repair.
- They are in effect preferential rates
- £10,000 + repair regime rates and I have already accepted that they are artificial in that they are partly subsidised by the lump sum
- …based on the rates agreed between BBMM and HE for more extensive (over £10,000) repairs is subject to the criticism that those rates are subsidised by the lump sum element
The merits of the claim, arguments about the appropriateness of rates & subsidy are inconsequential to me from an FoI perspective. I am seeking the stated rates schedule.
I also possess emails on the subject of rates between various BBMM parties but:
- I believe Luke Ellis has declined to provide the schedule of rates on at least one occasion citing commercially sensitivity. He explained I receive the rates on above threshold claims and therefore know them (some).
- 01/08/2019, Luke also wrote: ‘As we have previously stated, we will not release schedules of rates for over threshold claims as they cannot been viewed ‘like for like’ for the exact reasons as stated by HHJ Godsmark’ thereby endorsing the accuracy of the Judgement. I do not wish to view them ‘like for like’, I simply wish to view the schedules of rates
- A further, less obvious/direct evidence of a DCP rates list/schedule is the consistency of rates. BBMM have multiple items of plant, operatives and materials and there is consistency of rates over long periods. How, if not by reference to a price list, a schedule of rates?
- Labour appeared consistent with an increase at or about 13/08/2018. The amount by which rates increased was troubling – well over stated ‘inflationary increases’, in one instance (at least) by over 100%. I engaged FoIA to better understand how the increases arose without the consent of HE; the discussion and agreement. The request was not addressed as is with the IC-38249-X6X8
- As with Kier, I learned spreadsheets presented by BBMM compiled in Excel were populated by other spreadsheets for example:
- Cath\Over 10k\Cost Re-imbursibles\OUTSTANDING\DCP 71475\[DCP 71475 CR – FA PK Costs 030919.xlsx
- John Lonsdale – EJ6DJXII/DCP 8517 Scheme Governance Form.xlsx
- 17/08/2020, lawyers acting for HE about an Area 10 matter in respect of which I queried rates responded (W08C368): ‘Rates are reviewed annually and take into account the actual staff / resources working on the repair.’. There are rates and it appears reasonable to assume they are reviewed in company with the Authority.
By comparison with a contractor appointed to carry out identical duties in a different area, Aone+ have published a schedule of tariffs applied for DCP claims which reflects the exact ASC structure and defined rates submitted in the tender process and then adopted in both sub £10,000 threshold and above £10,000 claims.
12/02/2020, I was present during a meeting with an AOne+ director at my offices and was informed:
- HE required that process to be applied
- costings were subject to continued scrutiny by HE,
- he did not know of any other way in which third party damage claims could be costed and recovered under the terms of agreement with HE.
- a schedule of DCP rates was required by the tender.
 Hans Christian Andersen