HS2 to make firms name all people involved in bids

Aaron Morby 2 months ago
Share

HS2 will overhaul bidding procedures for future contracts in the wake of its development partner contract fiasco.

Sir David Higgins
Sir David Higgins tells select committee there is no need to rerun development partner tender process

Sir David Higgins, HS2 chairman, said the body would now tighten up disclosure procedures after US consultant CH2M withdrew from a preferred development partner role on the second phase of HS2.

He revealed the move to tighten up bid requirements as he was quizzed by the Transport Select Committee about events leading up to CH2M being selected as preferred contractor.

CH2M had faced conflict of interest allegations from rival bidder Mace, after HS2’s former chief of staff Christopher Reynolds produced lessons learnt documents from phase one to inform the second phase development partner tender process.

After leaving HS2 last June, Reynolds went to work for CH2M in September.

Higgins said that HS2 had no evidence that Reynolds had influenced CH2M’s bid. But despite this CH2M withdrew “for their own reasons”, revealed Higgins.

HS2 now intends to rewrite bid documents to force contractors and consultants to name all people involved in the bidding process.

He said conflict of interest clauses would be strengthened as part of the due diligence process.

“We do intended to tighten it up following this exercise. In future we will say you need to disclose to us who you intend to use on your tendering.

“It will give us more of a chance to be able to scrutinise this ourselves.”

He added: “It is something we will tighten in our tendering process – but this tendering process is standard practice, it’s used on every major engineering and civil contract to date.

“I have to say with the publicity that surrounds this, there would not be a contractor or engineering firm in the UK now that will not be very focused on declaring conflict of interest.”

Higgins also confirmed that second placed Bechtel would now be awarded the contract after its bid came in 15% cheaper than third placed Mace.

In a statement after the hearing, a Mace spokespersons said: “As the Transport Select Committee has shown there are a lot of serious questions to be answered around HS2’s procurement process.

“If we hadn’t raised these concerns, these serious issues would never have come out.”

“David Higgins admitted that HS2 needs to tighten up their process is an admission that the procurement was seriously flawed.

“It’s remarkable that he also admitted that if CH2M hadn’t withdrawn, they would have been sacked – which is a clear admission that their procurement process was riddled with errors.

“Over the past 26 years we have bid on thousands of projects, but we have never yet taken a case to the High Court. This tells you how seriously we take the matter.”

Latest news

All tower block cladding checked so far fails fire test

Cladding on 34 high-rise blocks in 17 local authorities fail combustibiltiy tests
5 hours ago

Crewe crane collapse victim was teenager on first job

Police identify both victims after crane came down while being erected
23 hours ago

Celotex to stop supply of Grenfell insulation to towers

Insulation giant halts supply for rainscreen cladding systems to high-rise buildings
2 days ago

Police consider manslaughter charges after Grenfell fire

Detectives "seizing relevant material from a number of organisations"
2 days ago

Council chief sounds warning over Battersea build costs

Wandsworth planning chairman claims project is facing "significant challenges"
2 days ago

Over 200 Birmingham tower blocks to get sprinklers

Council could delay its building projects to fund £31m retrofit programme
2 days ago

First tests reveal combustible cladding on 11 towers

Up to 600 towers need to be checked
3 days ago

Safety alarm raised over fall in HSE construction visits

Surprise site visits by inspectors drop by 14%
2 days ago

Plans for 35-storey Manchester student tower

Unite unveils plan for 600-bed student block near Oxford Road station
2 days ago

London’s Camden Council to strip cladding from five towers

Chalcots Estate project was delivered by Grenfell contractors Rydon and Harley Facades
3 days ago

Contractors urged to stop asking site chefs for skills cards

Firms urged to use common sense over allowing non-construction staff on sites
2 days ago

Planning thumbs up for £150m Lincoln shopping centre

St Marks shopping centre owner Standard Life plans to start work in 2020
2 days ago

Two killed in crane collapse on Crewe construction site

Tower crane comes down on Seddon site
4 days ago

Berkeley cleared to fast-track scheme for Grenfell survivors

Homes and Communities Agency strike deal to buy Kensington Row luxury apartment scheme
4 days ago

Buckingham Group targets £500m revenue in 2018

Profits soar as firm eyes swelling pipeline of stadium projects.
4 days ago

Five more Edinburgh schools found with building defects

Investigation reveals more schools in Edinburgh suffered wall-tie defects
3 days ago

Galliford/Lagan jv wins £135m RAF Marham hangar

New hangar will house a dozen F-35B vertical take-off jets
4 days ago

CIOB sets up commission to probe control of build quality

Paul Nash to lead urgent review into behaviour that undermines quality in construction
4 days ago

Barratt names new finance boss

Barratt promotes Jessica White to top financial executive
3 days ago

Opinion: Construction must say never again to another Grenfell

The industry must break with its lowest cost culture
4 days ago

Profits soar at Berkeley despite housing market uncertainty

Berkeley worried about Brexit impact on skills as half its site labour comes from EU
4 days ago

Hewden sell-off raises £120m but trade creditors get pennies

More than £41m was owed to plant hire giant's trade creditors
4 days ago

New Bovis Homes boss buys extra £2m shares

Greg Fitzgerald raises his shareholding to around £3.2m
4 days ago

Kier and Bouygues look for London subcontractors

Major meet the buyer event in the capital next week: Register now
5 days ago

Croydon council to retrofit 25 towers with sprinklers

Council to start £10m sprinkler programme in tallest housing blocks
5 days ago

Yorkshire builder’s MBO deal sowed seeds of own demise

George Hurst & Sons never recovered from an MBO a decade ago saddling the business with debt
5 days ago

Queensferry Crossing to open on August 30

End in sight for contractors who have battled against high winds for six years
5 days ago

Councils ordered to check rainscreening on all buildings

Government to fund fire rating tests on all aluminium composite material clad buildings
6 days ago

Morgan Sindall infrastructure boss to join Lagan

Nick Fletcher to return to Lagan as Chief Operating Officer
6 days ago

Architect makes loss as construction market peaks

Aukett Swanke struggling for commissions as market hits "bottom of the cycle"
5 days ago

Contractor services