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Carillion: DfT slammed for refusing to disclose HS2 assessment

Shadow Cabinet Office minister John Trickett has attacked the government over its refusal to release details of its financial risk assessment of Carillion over the award of HS2 phase one contracts.

Last week the Department of Transport (DfT) rejected a request by Mr Trickett for details from the financial section of the HS2 procurement questionnaire completed by Carillion.

Responding to a written question from the shadow minister, the DfT said it could not supply information on the procurement questionnaire because Carillion’s submission had been as joint venture with partners Eiffage and Kier.

Carillion / Kier / Eiffage won the £1.34bn central packages of HS2’s £6.6bn phase one civils contracts, as revealed by CN in July 2017.

Speaking to Construction News, Labour’s Mr Trickett attacked the government’s approach to public procurement, accusing it of lacking the evidence to prove it wasn’t “asleep on the job”.

“Carillion’s collapse has shown how woefully inadequate the government’s approach to procurement is,” he said.

“Since January, Carillion’s projects have suffered delays, redundancies and subcontractors losing all hope of every getting payment.

“All the while, the government won’t tell the public anything about their risk assessments, meetings with the firm or financial stress tests.

“Why can’t the government produce any information that shows they weren’t asleep on the job?”

In Feburary a number of subcontractors told CN the decision to award Carillion’s HS2 JV two of its civils contracts sent the wrong signals to the supply chain over the contractor’s financial future

Last week, HS2 boss Mark Thurston said the financial tests connected to the awarding of HS2 contracts were “pretty onerous” in an exclusive interview with CN.

The Department of Transport and HS2 have been contacted for comment.

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