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Richard Rogers wins fees in Welsh Assembly row

ARBITRATORS HAVE ordered the Welsh Assembly to pay £432,000 in outstanding fees to the sacked designer and construction manager of its Cardiff headquarters, it was confirmed this week.

Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) was kicked off the Welsh parliament project in July 2001 amid bitter accusations that the firm was failing to control costs.

The Welsh Assembly refused to settle outstanding fees and instead demanded compensation from RRP.

The case was taken to arbitration and now, according to a report by the Auditor General for Wales, the Assembly is being forced to pay up.

Under the Assembly's construction management procurement route, predicted costs for design and construction of its new parliament building spiralled dramatically.

In January 2001 construction was forecast by RRP to come in at £13.1M. But by May 2001 forecasts had soared to £17.4M.

RRP blamed factors 'beyond its control': principally, client imposed design changes, problems with managing contractors, procuring local materials and time over-runs.

But an independent price review by the Assembly's advisor Symonds put the final construction cost at £24.1M, with an additional £9M needed to cover contingencies.

No middle ground could be agreed, and RRP's dismissal brought construction to a grinding halt. It is now a year late.

The scheme is now being project managed by Schal, with TPS as architectural, structural and buildings services consultant.

INFOPLUS

The report is available at www. agw. wales. gov. uk

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