Fall of Rok forces extra checks on bidders

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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A Scottish Government agency is taking an extra four months to check the finances of contractors bidding for a £20m infrastructure job at Inverness Campus in the wake of Rok’s collapse.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise is tightening its procurement procedures for the job to ensure it is not hit by a bidder going under. The move means the project will now have to be re-tendered.

The organisation placed a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union in September, inviting contractors to register interest in carrying out around £15-20m worth of infrastructure works to open up 89 acres of the site for development.

HIE Chief Executive Alex Paterson said: “Given the current economic climate and in particular the collapse of Rok, we have decided to request additional financial information from the companies tendering for the complex and large-scale Inverness Campus project.

“Under European legislation this means we have to re-start the procurement process.

“The Campus will have the capacity to support up to 6,000 jobs over the next 30 years, and generate more than £38m for the regional economy every year.

“HIE alone is investing £25 million into the development of the project over the next few years. It is therefore vital that we do everything we can to ensure we find the right construction partner.

“We appreciate the time and effort that companies have invested in the process so far and hope that those which have expressed interest will retain their interest, and understand that Inverness Campus is a project of significant importance which we are determined to protect from risk.”

The move will add around four months to the procurement process for the Campus project, with site works getting under way in summer 2011.

HIE has been badly hit by Rok’s collapse after the body appointed the failed firm to a £32m four-year property framework just weeks before it went under.

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