Out of the (Amey) Frying Pan, into the (Kier) Fire?
Collisions, spills and … fires: if you negligently damage Birmingham City ‘street furniture’, such as a barrier, you can expect to receive a bill from their contractor for attendance and restoration. But:
- are the costs demanded reasonable,
- are the rates and recovery process by the current contractor, Kier Highways, contract compliant or
- are exaggeration and profiteering occurring?
After a lengthy legal battle, Highways giant Amey was to ‘pay city £300 million to end roads fiasco‘. Kier Highways was appointed as the preferred bidder to manage the 15-month interim highway services contract for Birmingham Highways Ltd (BHL) from 1 April 2020 to 29 June 2021 read more here. Kier are well known to EnglandHighways.co.uk for exaggeration of claim costs (utilising unauthorised uplifts – 2020 HHJ Harrison Judgement – para. 36), failing to comply with n Authroity’s contract insofar as claims/recoveries are concerned and appointing ‘recovering [inflated] losses has become palatable‘ lawyers to pursue recovery immediately, thereby potentially adding to the total a driver, fleet, haulier or their insurer (Third Party) will be expected to pay.
Now, Kier is applying its England-wide process to Birmingham incidents, utilising their own CECA based rates (‘KSOR Annex – with planning‘)) rather than ‘cost’. We were surprised the Council would allow their road users to be treated in this manner and made a FoIA request the response to which indicates the contractor is, again, not complying with a contract. An extract from the Council’s response is as follows:
- Kier Highways applies for payment against actual costs incurred for staff, labour, plant, materials and subcontractors (or Third Parties) in delivering the works.
- For delivering the works, Kier Highways are paid a fixed Management Fee.
- Kier Highways do not use CECA rates and the costs for staff and labour are predominantly those of the TUPE workforce
Really? The above KSOR Annex – with planning has no less than 21 references to ‘CECA’. Kier also operates in Highways England Area 9, there, for example, plant rates to the Authority are ‘CECA minus 30%’.
- Has the council entered into a particularly poor agreement?
- Is Kier complying with the contract
- why are drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers the subject of such high rates?
For the rates, the process and history, read more here.
03/02/2021 – FoIA Damage to Street Furniture Claim Costs & Recoveries