21/11/2016, Highways England’s CEO, Jim O’Sullivan, wrote to us:
‘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.’
3 years on, a meeting presenting the concerns and evidencing the issues, an ‘audit’ by KPMG (Project Verde), our correspondence setting out contract non-compliance, exaggeration and fraud (charging for costs not incurred and misleading Third parties and the Courts) and:
- the process is no simpler, indeed, of late, more complicated
- the past costs (and current) have not been reconciled.
So much for ‘a lot of effort’ in 2016 … seemingly the Authority’s efforts failed to identify then (until late 2018) that the costs they were considering, looking to reconcile, do not exist; there is no price list, the Authority overlooked agreeing one*.
As of 01/2019, the Authority has been claiming there is no schedule of rates for Damage to Crown property (DCP) works.
Our efforts to understand the Authority’s efforts have been hampered, a request for Nick and Tim’s activities was refused. Seemingly, expecting a Public Authority to explain their efforts which failed to uncover a set of rates and failed to address costs is vexatious. Fortunately, not according to the ICO. Read more here.
*it is believed a schedule exists but is being withheld to prevent the extent of overstatement, exaggeration and fraud being uncovered. Withholding also prejudices a Third Parties (driver, fleet, haulier or insurers) ability to defend the costs being presented.