Chris Ames 06 May 2022

Council blocks scrutiny over bizarre £7m contract roll-over

Council blocks scrutiny over bizarre £7m contract roll-over image
Image: Pack-Shot / Shutterstock.com.

Greenwich Council has refused to disclose why it has handed out a £7m contract without a competitive tender and has blocked scrutiny of the move.

In a formal notice, the authority cited ‘unforeseen circumstances’ behind its decision to roll over its highways term maintenance contract with JB Riney for a further year.

However, Greenwich refused to say what those circumstances were. Highways understands that the council has also blocked the decision from being 'called in' by the relevant scrutiny committee.

The local authority has published a Voluntary ex ante transparency (VEAT) notice disclosing the award of the contract to JB Riney for 12 months under a process described as ‘negotiated without a prior call for competition’.

It said this reflected ‘extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable for the contracting authority’.

By way of explanation, the VEAT notice stated that its highways maintenance term contract was competitively tendered for and ended on 31st March 2022, but that due to ‘unforeseen events that occurred prior to the end of the contract, a competitive tender exercise could not be organised’.

It added that the short-term contract is required in order for the council to have a highways term contractor in place to fulfil its statutory duties under the Highways Act 1980 and to allow for a new competitive tender exercise to be organised.

It adds: ‘The new procurement exercise to replace this current contract awarded under this VEAT will be launched this year.’

The council awarded the previous contract to Riney in 2013, when it was set to commence in April 2014 and run for five years with three possible extensions of a year at a time.

This article originally appeared on Highways.

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Team Support Worker

Leicestershire County Council
£20,856
An exciting opportunity has arisen to work to assist in the coordination to support the management of a comprehensive countywide Team Support Service. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Assertive Inreach Worker

Leicestershire County Council
£22,575
We now have an exciting opportunity to join our team working as an Assertive Inreach Worker. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Assistant Early Education Funding Officer

City of Bradford MDC
£22,129 - £24,920
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Intelligence and Sufficiency Service to work within the Early Education Funding team. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Support worker

Northumberland County Council
£20,444
Do you want a challenging and rewarding career with real opportunities to change the lives of people in Northumberland? Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Lawyer/Senior Lawyer Prosecutions

City of Bradford MDC
£36,371 - £47,665
Are you looking for a varying legal role where you can help make a true difference? Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.