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Carillion and Highways Agency fall out over CAT score

Contractor Carillion was this week at the centre of a row with the Highways Agency over the Capability Assessment Toolkit (CAT) used by the Agency to assess its suppliers.
The pair are understood to be 'in discussions' after Carillion scored just 165.5 out of a possible 288 in the Agency's independently audited assessment. This puts it 27th out of the 33 consultants and contractors assessed, and theoretically should bar it from winning future work. The CAT makes up about 50% of the Agency's prequalification assessment and a score based on past performance information makes up the other half.In a statement Carillion told NCE that it would not be formally contesting the score but said: 'We strive to be exceptional and were very disappointed by a score of 165.5 following the hard work and commitment from our employees and our partners who represented us. While we do not believe the score fully reflects the strengths of the Carillion Roads business, we are committed to addressing the areas of improvement highlighted and much of this work has already been completed.'NCE understands that several firms challenged their scores, but the Agency is standing by its results. 'We did not change our scores from the initial assessment. There were scores we had discussion over, but we did not change them,' said a spokesman.Other contractors expressed doubts over whether the Agency would stand bar one of its biggest suppliers. In the past five years Carillion has delivered 10 major Agency contracts. Only Balfour Beatty - which topped the CAT with 187.2 - has delivered more (see table). The Agency said it would not rule Carillion out from future contracts based on its score. 'The CAT is one part of the process. No firm can be completely ruled out on the basis of its CAT score,' said a spokesman.

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