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  • You are here:HS2

HS2 civils bidders to face conflict of interest tests

Contractors looking to secure any of the £8.6bn HS2 phase one civils deals could have to undergo stringent conflict of interest checks before signing contracts, Construction News can reveal.

HS2 has confirmed that its procurement team is putting together a set of checks to ensure the conflict of interest saga that saw CH2M withdraw from the £170m development partner role last month is not repeated.

HS2 said the new proposals would be “ground-breaking” and would go over and above the measures currently being used in other government procurements.

The new measures come after HS2’s chairman Sir David Higgins (pictured) was grilled by MPs on the transport select committee on Wednesday over CH2M’s decision to withdraw from the phase two deal.

Giving evidence, Sir David said: “We do intend 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.

“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.”

The measures now being considered include bidders disclosing the details of everyone who works on the bid teams tendering for HS2 contracts.

HS2 said this would apply to all future contracts it lets, but also retrospectively to companies currently bidding on live procurements.

This would include the contractors currently bidding for the £8.6bn of civils contracts on phase one of the line.

Under current government procurement rules, it is the bidder’s responsibility to declare conflicts of interest to the client, a process that is adhered to by government bodies such as Highways England and Crossrail.

The “ground-breaking” new measures, however, would see the public body taking a larger role in vetting companies in an effort to ensure no conflicts of interest occur.

Proposals so far include keeping a record of what companies HS2 staff go to once they have left the organisation.

HS2 said it was preparing the list of new measures for approval from the board when it meets in June.

In March 2016 HS2 shortlisted nine bidders to deliver up to £11.8bn of major civils work on the high-speed rail link.

In June these teams – eight consortiums and Bechtel as a sole bidder – were invited to tender for seven packages worth up to £8.6bn on phase one.

The awarding of these contracts was initially expected in April, but Construction News revealed last month that this had been pushed back until June.

Later in the tendering process, successful firms will also be eligible to bid for the remaining £1.8bn-£3.3bn of civls work for phase 2a, which covers Birmingham to Crewe.

HS2 civils contract bidders

Tenderer nameParties Tender list(s)

Align Joint Venture

Bouygues Travaux Publics

VolkerFitzpatrick 

Sir Robert McAlpine

Lot S2

Lot C1

Lot C2

Lot C3

ASL

Acciona Infraestructuras SA

John Sisk & Son (Holdings)

Lagan Construction Group

Lot C3

Balfour Beatty Vinci BeMo (BBV)

Balfour Beatty Group 

Vinci Construction Grands Projets

Vinci Construction UK

Vinci Construction Terrassement

BeMo Tunnelling

Lot C1

Lot C2

Lot N1

Lot N2

Catalyst

Bechtel 

Lot C3

Carillion-Eiffage-Kier (CEK) 

Carillion Construction

Eiffage Genie Civil 

Kier Infrastructure and Overseas

Lot S1

Lot S2

Lot C2

Lot C3

Fusion

Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure

Bam Nuttall

Ferrovial Agroman (UK) 

Lot S1

Lot S2

Lot N1

Lot N2

LFM

Laing O’Rourke Construction

FCC Construccion

J Murphy and Sons 

Lot C1

Lot N1

Lot N2

Momentum Infrastructure

Dragados SA

Hochtief Infrastructure

Galliford Try Infrastructure 

Lot S1

Lot C2

Lot C3

Lot N2

SCS

Skanska Construction (UK)

Costain 

Strabag AG

Lot S1

Lot S2

Lot C1

Lot N1

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