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Mace 'not ruling out' further HS2 steps

Hs2 2by3

Mace has called for the tender process for the High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase 2b development partner contract to be reviewed following the withdrawal of CH2M from the contract. 

Mace bid unsuccessfully for the contract, and says its legal team is still considering the implications of CH2M’s action and will not “rule anything out”.

CH2M pulled out of the HS2 Phase 2b contract yesterday, amid on-going questions about conflicts of interest during the procurement process.

“After many weeks of waiting, we look forward to seeing [project promoter] HS2 Ltd tomorrow to finally hear their answers to our numerous questions about how the entire procurement process has been conducted,” said Mace.

“It’s important to note that conflicts of interest was only ever one element of our concerns. With so many questions being asked by the public and Parliament, the only sensible thing to do now is to look at the whole tender process again.

“In our 26 year history, working on some of the UK’s most iconic projects, we have never brought a case to the High Court or seen a procurement process run like this. We continue to closely review our next steps with our legal team and don’t rule anything out.”

Meanwhile, the most senior civil servant in charge of High Speed 2 (HS2) at the Department for Transport has announced he is to leave his job.

HS2 director general David Prout will take up a position at Oxford University in September.

The DfT said that his departure was not in any way connected to CH2M’s decision.

A DfT spokesperson said: “We congratulate David on his appointment as pro vice-chancellor for planning and resources at Oxford University after a successful four and a half years as DfT’s HS2 director general. David has been instrumental in driving forward HS2 from the drawing board to construction and championing Europe’s largest infrastructure project across a complex network of stakeholders, partners and local communities.

“David will continue leading his strong, talented and motivated team until the end of June through more important milestones including the start of HS2 works in spring. During this time a permanent successor will be found.”

CH2M said it had always been transparent about who has been working on its HS2 bid, while HS2 Ltd says it put in procedures to avoid conflict of interest for staff who used to work at CH2M.

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