Exclusive: HS2 has delayed officially awarding the £170m phase two development partner contract – and will meet unsuccessful bidder Mace to discuss the procurement process.
CH2M was expected to officially sign the phase 2b development partner contract today, but this has now been postponed until a meeting takes place early next week between the client and Mace, Construction News can reveal.
Last week Mace announced that it was considering its options following HS2’s decision to award CH2M the contract.
A spokesman for HS2 told Construction News: “Last week we received a request for information from one of the bidders about the proposed award of the role of development partner for phase 2b.
“It is important that all the bidders have confidence in the process and, as such, we have agreed to delay contract award while we meet with them to discuss the questions they have raised.”
A Mace spokeswoman said today: “We can confirm that HS2 has invited us to a private meeting to discuss the phase 2b delivery partner procurement process.
“We welcome that HS2 has acknowledged the need for this meeting. We continue to review our options closely.”
A JV of Mace and Turner & Townsend missed out on the phase 2b delivery partner deal, despite making the shortlist last summer.
The award came amid concerns over a conflict of interest after former CH2M European managing director Roy Hill was appointed interim chief executive of HS2 during the procurement process for the contract.
HS2 has maintained that its procurement process was robust in selecting CH2M for the phase 2b role, including the use of a ‘Chinese Wall’ agreement that prohibited communication between CH2M’s phase two bid team and those CH2M staff already working for HS2.
Mace also lost out to CH2M as a single bidder for the phase one development contract back in 2012.
The news of the latest delay in the contract signing comes after Bechtel confirmed to Construction News that it would not be challenging the phase two decision.
The company, which missed out on both phase one and phase two development partner contracts to CH2M, is currently bidding for one of the seven civils package along phase one of the route.
Turner & Townsend had already confirmed it would not be challenging the award with Mace.
Earlier this week HS2 achieved royal assent for phase one of the line, paving the way for construction to begin on the section from London to Birmingham.
CH2M declined to comment.