Do Highways England have any regard for the public purse, tax payers money? Claims by contractors are:
- paid without thought
- subject to an agreement that prevents reimbursement of overpayment
What agreement was entered into that prevents a contractor reimbursing miscalculated, over-egged bills?
In one claim we explained, if the works concluded January 9th, we would not expect to see Traffic Management engaged and charged 2 days later! The response by the Authority and their lawyers:
‘there is a full shift of TM ops and plant for [11th Jan’) charged that never should have been paid as the work was completed on [9th Jan’]
Why would a contractor trouble to check their bills; they are rubber-stamped for payment by Highways England and to quote the Authority:
‘Due to agreements we’re unable to get that credited or adjusted’.
As for another query raised, the response was as damning:
In all honesty, not a clue, whatever it is very likely has nothing to do with the repair, as white collar staff [contractor] are contractually allowed to ‘spread book’ and we can’t question it (I have made the same point about us not being a MAC myself and it’s just a case of “it’s white collar”). It’s an ongoing issue & another case of having to make adjustments”
The £7,000 claims was settled as less than £5,000 – the overstatement exceeded 40%.
Expect inaccuracy on every Highways England claim. Obtain all documentation.
30/03/2021 – We sought clarification of the above behaviour by use of the FoIA ‘‘Spread Book’ with regard to DCP Works’
04/05/2021 – The Authority, having failed to respond in accordance with the law (20 working days) we presented the matter to the ICO.