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Amey in £4m High Court Contract Procurement Victory

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Following a recent High Court appeal judgement, infrastructure support services provider Amey are set to receive £4m in compensation from West Sussex County Council due to a disputed highways contract procurement process.

The High Court heard that an original contract bid from Amey had collapsed due to errors in the criteria scoring process, leading to the interim contract and subsequent continuity appointment being awarded to rival bidders Balfour Beatty. West Sussex County Council applied to have Amey’s claim struck out, but this was rejected by Justice Stuart-Smith.

The £4m payout came to light as part of the council’s draft budget proposals. The Cabinet will go through the proposed budget for 2020/21 before it goes before a meeting of the full council on February 14 for final approval. A council statement said:

The budget report also identifies that money from reserves has been used to settle an outstanding claim and associated costs of the contested procurement process for highways maintenance. A sum of £4m has been paid to the claimant Amey after it instigated legal proceedings.”

After the collapse of the procurement process, representatives of West Sussex County Council claimed that it would have been too difficult to bring in a new company, in particular for winter service, resulting in them awarding to contract to Balfour Beatty. Based on the loss of projected savings and further costs as a result of the contract extension, the full cost of the debacle could be close to £7.6m, according to reports. The council announced that it would have to utilise its financial reserves to make the payment.

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