Birmingham City Council have engaged the ‘misrepresenting claim costs and recoveries‘ contractor Kier Highways after the fiasco involving Amey. The council explained in response to an FoIA request:

  • 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

But:

  • Kier is not using ‘actual costs’ (we possess such rates from the neighbouring Area 9, utilised when billing Highways England)
  • If Kier s paid a management fee, why are they applying an uplift to bills presented to Third parties and
  • why has this uplift changed from a percentage to a fixed fee – was there a variation in the contract?
  • Kier ARE using CECA rates

When attempting to understand the anomalies, the initially forthcoming Birmingham City Council are now blocking requests for information.  Seemingly, after detailed consideration, they believe the rates Kier are using are ‘commercially sensitive’ (s43 of the FoIA).  Really?  They can be viewed as a web page or in their pdf format here – DCP Claims and the Kier Schedule of Rates (KSoR)

They are Kier’s England-wide schedule, utilised on (and accompanying) 1,000’s of claims each year!  Commercially sensitive … or commercially embarrassing? Possibly the ICO will need to decide, for now, we are seeking a review of their somewhat bizarre response, their unwillingness to explain the above contradictions.  So much for ‘open’ government and ‘transparency’.

In the meantime, if presented a bill from Kier, or their ‘inflating costs to make a profit‘ lawyers , you may wish to ask the Council whether the costs are those agreed – good luck!


Further reading:

FoIA – Damage to Street Furniture Claim Costs & Recoveries

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