Oxfordshire council spends £1.7m on audit for work carried out by Carillion

Oxfordshire County Council has spent £1.7m on an audit report on the work carried out by Carillion, finding “a range of issues” and “major elements unsuitably executed.”

The report shows that the county council spent £123m on a total of 602 projects with the construction giant, and uncovered a number of failings including missing certificates and fire safety issues in its services.

Oxfordshire council commissioned the assessment of work carried out by Carillion’s in its 10-year period, and said that it would be claiming back the costs from Carillion’s liquidators.

The now-liquidated firm provided school meals, cleaning, maintenance of council buildings, property services and building work after signing a 10-year contract in 2012, with projects costing from £5,000 to £10m.

The report identified a “range of issues” including missing contract and building control certification, missing health and safety manuals, planning conditions not fulfilled and “unsatisfactory fire strategies.”

The report said that “while the assessments have provided a sound basis for determining the immediate costs of rectification, given the scale and extent of the issues already identified, it is considered expedient to review these costs to confirm the overall capital provision required to fund the defects programme.”

Therefore, the audit report, costing a total of £1.7m, has not finalised the costs of the remedial works which will likely be published next year.

Oxfordshire’s report also stated that it was exploring options to recover the costs from “other contractors involved in the Carillion contract.”

It said: “In the absence of the contractor, the council is taking on the responsibility for dealing with latent defects.

“The nature of these is unknown at this point but, where they occur, the council will assess what rectification work is required and manage its delivery.”

Carillion fell into liquidation in January this year after emergency talks collapsed.

The construction giant is Network Rail’s second biggest maintenance service supplier and was heavily involved in HS2, but was not able to come to an agreement with investors to provide short-term financial support.

 Image credit -  Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images



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