Mace, the company which caused High Speed 2 Ltd’s (HS2) £170M Phase 2b development partner contract to collapse, has not ruled out further legal action after the findings of yesterday’s hearing into HS2 Ltd’s procurement process.
The rival bidder raised objections to CH2M’s appointment by acting on a whistle blower’s information which focused on a conflict of interest with former HS2 employee and now CH2M employee Christopher Reynolds’ involvement in its bid for the role.
Mace said matters raised in the Transport Select Committee hearing had shown there were ‘a lot of serious questions to be answered around HS2’s procurement process’.
“If we hadn’t raised these concerns, these serious issues would never have come out,” said a Mace spokesperson.
As a result of the collapse, HS2 revealed it will now require staff involved on bids to be named to allow past histories to be examined and possible conflicts uncovered.
Mace claimed HS2 Ltd chair David Higgins’ admission that HS2 was tightening up its procurement showed its processes were ‘seriously flawed’.
“It’s remarkable that he also admitted that if CH2M hadn’t withdrawn, they would have been sacked – which is a clear admission that their procurement process was riddled with errors,” said Mace. “Over the past 26 years we have bid on thousands of projects, but we have never yet taken a case to the High Court. This tells you how seriously we take the matter.”
During the hearing Higgins said he is to meet with Mace to discuss the outcome of the hearing and Mace’s next steps.
However, transport secretary Chris Graying said he hoped any professionals would not ‘seek to use the courts gratuitously’ and not use the courts without good grounds to do so.