Update: It seems likely that CH2M will withdraw from the HS2 contract (or be kicked off), according to the Financial Times. They cite the Magnox decommissioning deal and the WCML as two other contracts that had to be reviewed. in similar circumstances.
Lord Berkeley is quoted as saying that the government took a “ridiculously long time to acknowledge that there is a conflict of interest”. He added: “It doesn’t demonstrate much confidence in HS2’s management and procurement procedures.”
And Guido Fawkes says neither HS2 Ltd or the DfT would provide any comment, other then that discussions were continuing. As they point out its a good time to bury bad news.
In a salutary tale for HS2 Ltd, a different flawed procurement process run by a different quango will cost the taxpayer £100 million.
This is the deal, run by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, to decommission 12 nuclear sites. The process had started in 2012, with the contracts awarded in 2014. Following legal challenges, a High Court ruling last July found that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) had “fudged” the tendering process, wrongly deciding the outcome of the procurement process.
And now, Greg Clarke, the Energy Secreatry, told the Houses of Parliament that
This was a defective procurement, with significant financial consequences, and I am determined that the reasons for it should be exposed and understood; that those responsible should properly be held to account; and that it should never happen again.
The decommissioning contracts are ending early and there’s a huge extra cost for the taxpayer. Is there a parallel there with HS2 Ltd?