Amey set for another legal showdown

30/07/2018
Dominic Browne

Amey is set for another showdown with a major council after partially winning an early round in a legal battle with West Sussex County Council.

Amey Highways Ltd had asked for the High Court for a summary judgement in the case, after West Sussex awarded its Highways Term Service Contract 2018-2028 to Ringway. 

While a summary judgement was not granted, the council failed to have the case thrown out either on the grounds that Amey ran out of time to take legal action, or that Amey's case had no chance of success.

This has left the two parties set for further legal action if no resolution can be found. The news comes just months after lost another battle with Birmingham City Council.

The judgement states that Amey’s case 'may be subdivided into two broad categories of attack':

'i) Amey alleges that instructions given by the Council on 19 January and/or 2 February 2018 about how it should structure its presentation of certain staff costs were unlawful. It is not in dispute that implementation of the instructions had the effect of reducing the score that Amey’s tender would receive in respect of price. 

ii) Amey alleges manifest error in the scoring of two criteria and that it should have been awarded a higher score for those criteria.'

The way the tender and its costings was outlined, Justice Stuart-Smith states, meant local office overheads 'also fell to be included in either Total Revenue Costs or Total Capital Costs for any of years 1-7, the structure of the ITT’s [Invitation to Tender] costing model would mean that such costs were brought into the tenderer’s submitted pricing twice'.

'There was therefore an incentive for tenderers not to include sums appearing in their Total Costs in the LMO as well. On the documentary evidence it appears that Amey was conscious of the possibility that other tenderers might gain an unfair advantage by wrongly excluding costs from LMO that should have been included there'

Amey alleges it received instructions from the council relating to this situation - specifically relating to the equivalent of 4.25 full time employees that Amey asserted would not come at the council's expense - that were unlawful. Related to this, Amey alleges it should have scored higher on its scorecards.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith ruled: 'I am not convinced that this is one of those relatively rare cases where the claim can be seen to be overwhelmingly strong or weak. I have not been addressed and am not in a position to make a reliable estimate of the strength or weakness of Amey’s claim or the Council’s proposed substantive defence save to say that neither appears to be fanciful on the materials and submissions that have been available and made at the present hearing.' 

Determination of the issues requires 'close consideration of the factual evidence that is beyond the scope of a strike out/summary judgement application', the ruling states. 

The procurement process was subject to a competitive dialogue process, involving three stages: first, an Invitation to Submit Outline Solutions; second, a Competitive Dialogue and; third, a Call for Final Tenders.

The Invitation to Tender divided the tender submission into two sections, quality and cost. The quality submission was worth 40% of the overall score with the cost submission being worth 60%.

Highways approached Amey and West Sussex County Council for comment.

Highways jobs

Key Route Network Manager

Liverpool City Region
£63,753 - £71,747
An exciting new opportunity has arisen within the Integrated Transport Directorate of the LCR Combined Authority Liverpool, Merseyside
Recruiter: Liverpool City Region

Medium/Heavy Vehicle Mechanic - January 2020

North West Leicestershire District Council
You could earn up to £28,785 + 0.75 hours per week plain time overtime
Tasks will include preparation for DVSA annual examination, servicing, general and defect generated repairs, fault finding including diagnostic tests. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recruiter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Senior Engineer (Co-ordinator) - 2 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£22,462 - £29,636 + £2000 Market Rate Supplement
The role is in the Highway Network Management & Co-ordination (HNMC) Team, which is part of Operational Services. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Surface Water Engineer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £35350 per annum
At Essex County Council, we're passionate about helping deliver economic growth, the best starts in life and the chance to age well for people in the England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highways Operations Manager

Swindon Borough Council
Salary up to £41,494 p.a.
In this key role, you will plan, organise, co-ordinate and control the workforce Swindon, Wiltshire
Recruiter: Swindon Borough Council

Director Neighbourhood & Enforcement

Telford & Wrekin Council
Cicra 89k
Telford and Wrekin is a great place to live, work, visit and do business. Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Engineer (Highways Maintenance Design)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£22,462 - £29,636
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Senior Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Projects Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£33,153 - £35,755
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire and... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Senior Heating Engineer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
Up to £48,692 per annum
Looking for a Senior Heating Engineer who will work as part of one of the small professional teams. London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Lead Practitioner (Infrastructure)

Newark & Sherwood District Council
£33,799 to £35,934 per annum
Newark and Sherwood is looking to recruit to its newly created post of Lead Practitioner for Infrastructure. Newark, Nottinghamshire
Recruiter: Newark & Sherwood District Council

Senior Parking Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
As Senior Parking Manager, you will be responsible for the effective management of the Council’s Parking Services contract Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Highways Inspector

Hackney London Borough Council
£28,752 - £32,577
We are seeking an experienced Highways Inspector to join the Highways Team. Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

School Crossing Patrol

Brent Council
£21,591 - £22,377 p.a. inc. pro rata. (£11.50 per hour)
A school crossing patrol officer is responsible for assisting children to cross the road safely on their way to and from school. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Assistant Director - Environment

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
£82k per annum
Our Assistant Director – Environment will ensure clean, safe and attractive communities. Redcar, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

Traffic Engineering Team Leader

Telford & Wrekin Council
£39,782 - £42,683
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Network Management Team Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Street Lighting Client Officer

Enfield London Borough Council
£37,842 – £40,728
As a Street Lighting Client Officer, you will assist the Streetlighting Client Manager in managing the Council’s Street lighting Service Provider Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Enfield London Borough Council

Partnership Director (Fixed Term for 2 years)

Tactran
£79,165 - £83,020
An exciting opportunity has arisen for the post of Partnership Director for the Tayside & Central Scotland Transport Partnership (Tactran). Perth, Perth and Kinross
Recruiter: Tactran

Service Director Planning, Transportation and Highways

Wakefield Council
£88,768
To lead on behalf of the Council on all planning, transportation and highways matters Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Assistant

Telford & Wrekin Council
SCP 13-17 - £11.41 - £12.35
Exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Highways, Transport & Engineering, Road Safety & Sustainable Transport Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Valuing our roads: What is a network worth?

Also inside:

Traffex review 

Diary of a flood.

Beautiful roads

Live Labs exclusive briefing 

View the latest issue

Latest Video