Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Probe raps Commons over Portcullis House contract


AN INDEPENDENT inquiry has called for a shake-up in the way major parliamentary contracts are handled.

The probe was launched after a row overthe procurement of Portcullis House in Westminster.

Last year a High Court judge said the House of Commons should compensate US firm Harmon Facades after it lost out on a £32 million deal at the new office building for MPs.

Although Harmon's bid was £2 million higher, the cladding contract was awarded instead to Anglo-German company Seele Avis as part of a 'buy British' policy that breached both UK and European laws. Harmon is hoping to win up to £12 million in compensation.

The inquiry, conducted by project management specialist Peter Bosworth and chaired by retired civil servant Sir Thomas Legg QC, found that 'serious mistakes' had been made in the awarding of the contract.

It called on the parliamentary works directorate to make sure that the roles and responsibilities of key members of the project team were more clearly defined in future schemes.

It also called for a project management process to be set up to include guidelines and control systems and has recommended 'lines of governance within a culture of professional and technical support'.

The details emerged in a parliamentary written reply from Liberal Democrat MP Archy Kirkwood, representing the House of Commons commission that oversees administration.