Highways England, the legacy of Jim O’Sullivan; an Authority so compromised as to be ineffective.
11/2016, in response to our further concerns Kier were profiteering from drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers (Third Parties), Jim emailed us that Tim (Reardon?) and Nick (Harris?) were putting a lot of effort into ‘reconciling the past costs’. But what Nick and Tim found and reported upon is being kept secret – apparently, there is so much information FoIA provision costs are exceeded and the data withheld. The Tribunal submission can be found here.
However, it appears all this effort by senior managers when carrying out this reconciliation exercise, when trying to understand and address the rates, failed to note that the subject matter, a price list, did not exist! But this assumes the Authority is being forthright.
We believe the reason there was no epiphany in 2016, no “Holy Oversight*! Would you Adam ‘n’ Eve it, no contract since 2012 has a price list … let’s get on it right way“, is because there was no absence to note, no price list to create (as occurred in 2019 – see below). Nick and Tim were able to understand and consider the costs because the subject matter, rates, were present, exist. That no change occurred suggests what was found (a contract non-compliant process and profiteering) they could not alter!
In 2016/2017, following Tim & Nick’s ‘lot of effort’, the Authority did not need to instigate a new process or agree on rates because they were in place – but only used to bill Highways England, the public were thrown to the wolves. Furthermore, no change to the process followed the 2016 effort; the Kier ‘CBD Process’ put in place by Ms Granville and Mr Pendlebury-Green continued, unchanged.
Tim and Nick also failed to note what HHJ Harrison identified 2020 – Kier was applying contract non-compliant uplifts, acting outside of their authority on 1,000’s of claims (para. 36 of the judgement). Uplifts to what … if not agreed rates?
Time and time again when the rates were requested, the Authority responded they were ‘HELD’ but commercially sensitive’ eventually turning to ‘vexatious’. But in late 2018, these exemptions fell away, spectacularly in the case of vexatious; the Authority was noted, amongst other things, to be providing wrong information.
Their defences in tatters, faced with releasing the rates, they again resisted claiming ‘no such thing, they do not exist’.
To further try and convince the world a price list had been overlooked, the Authority set about creating a price list (the NSoRC) that failed in 3 months.
Ultimately, seemingly unable to have Kier comply with the contract, they alerted the contract to suit Kier … who set about utilising another process that exaggerates rates and doe snot see Third Parties charged the same as the Authority for the same operatives, plant and materials … contrary to the Judgement of HHJ Gosmark (para. 25).
There should be no surprise we refer to the claims process as ‘state enabled exaggeration and fraud on an industrial scale’.
More information about Tim & Nick’s effort can be read here.
*The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman’