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Highways Agency projects boss quits

Highways Agency major projects director Nirmal Kotecha is to leave the organisation next month after three years in the role.

Commercial approach

Kotecha was brought in to instil a more commercial approach to the Agency’s major projects.

His appointment followed strong criticism of cost overruns on Highways Agency projects from public spending watchdog the National Audit Office and the government-commissioned Nichols Report (NCE 22
March 2007).

“Nirmal joined us in April 2008 to help transform the Highways Agency’s capability and to develop a new, more commercial way of working on major projects,” said an Agency spokesman.

“He has worked with his team of around 350 staff to put in place effective project control systems that are recognised as best practice, building excellent working relationships with our supply chain partners in the consulting engineering and construction contracting sectors.”

Reduction in major projects

The Agency denied that Kotecha’s departure was linked to the sharp reduction in major projects going forward following last year’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

“The Highways Agency is and will continue to be a significant client to the industry for many years to come,” said the spokesman. “Last year’s Spending Review confirmed a £2bn programme of work to complete schemes in progress and start 14 new ones.

Kotecha is to join energy distributor UK Power Networks.

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