First it was Kier Highways claiming that their 10/2015 profiteering process was agreed with insurers.  One company they named denied any knowledge of such an arrangement. Then, 06/2019, having launched their  ‘NSoRC’ (National Schedule of Repair Costs), the process failed and was abandoned 31/10/2019.  The NSoRC was to be it; “In a sense it’s not a trial … it is the rollout…” [Tim Reardon Authority’s General Counsel – line 221]… until it failed after which it was referred to as a ‘pilot’.  But why did it fail?

According to the Authority, insurers did not agree with it.  Really?

  • The process had only been active for 3 months, hardly time to engage with the process, test it.
  • We had encountered the rates, the methodology and were reporting favourably about it
  • We had put forward many suggestions and recommendations to the Authority to assist in its progression
  • The Authority was apparently collating feed-back that would be placed on-line – this never occurred

A Freedom of Information Act request, in part, sought “the last exchanges with insurers in which they have caused the process to be abandoned, were unaccepting of it” and “the exchanges with contractors Kier Highways about the instigation of the process and the termination.”  It has met with resistance –  why?

Our suspicion is that the Authority is not in control, that National Highways has long been beholden to its contractors.  The Authority appears, so compromised as to be ineffective.

There surely cannot be that much to disclose and the request provides the opportunity for the Authority to ‘put us back in our box’ as far as saying ‘you are blaming insurers, but you are not being truthful’ is concerned.

01/11/2021 – The issue is being progressed by way of Information Tribunal (EA/2021/0056) after the ICO failed to assist.

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