£3 Million Deficit with Regional Trunk Road Management Contract

Following the restructure of the Dumfries and Galloway Council, the final meeting of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee (EEI) will take place on 2nd July. At this Committee Members will hear a report on the Trunk Road Maintenance Management Contract.

This Contract with Scotland TranServ, which was for 5 years, concluded on 15th April 2018. Work streams included: Winter Service; Repair of Category 1 Carriageway defects (where a repair is required within 5 working days); Make safe and repair any damage to Crown Property; and Emergency incident response.

Certain items of dispute arose between the Council’s DGFirst service and Scotland TranServ over the period of the contract. Following discussions, it became apparent towards the end of financial year 2018/19 that the level of income was significantly overestimated. Based on the level of income still to be paid, the deficit being reported amounts to around £2.899 million, which is likely to be non-recoverable.

There are still ongoing discussions with Scotland TranServ around areas of dispute, but this Council has decided to take a proactive approach and carry out a robust investigation into matters associated with the former EEI Directorate’s under-recovery arising from this contract, to prevent issues like this occurring again.

The scope for this investigation will include interviewing managers, staff and, where possible, former staff. Contracting partners TranServ will also be approached. A chief officer will conduct the investigation and findings will be reported by the end of September 2019.

Chair of EEI Committee, Archie Dryburgh said: “This has been a real learning curve and we will ensure that we do not become involved in this type of roads contract again. We recognise that mistakes have been made and lessons must be learned. The investigation will consider all points, look at the facts and any appropriate actions will be taken forward as a result of the findings.”
Vice Chair, Andrew Wood said: “We cannot allow this to happen again and we must review all aspects of this contract, from the initial negotiations to the process of resolving disputes. Members must be assured that rules and guidance are in place and are able to scrutinise in a timely fashion all aspects of contracts . “