In a response to a Parliamentary Question raised by North East MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson, Mike Rumbles, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport has claimed that ministers ‘had no role in awarding the contract’, for the tendering of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route project.
The transport minister also wrote to Mr Rumbles confirming that the ‘evaluation criteria’ for the contract ‘required the most economically advantageous tender’ despite the road ending-up at least £250 million over budget. While other contractual failures meant that completed sections of the road remained closed for months due to favourable payment clauses for the contractor.
Mr Rumbles said: “Scottish Government ministers should hang their heads in shame at this shocking incompetence.
“Some of the most prominent SNP MSPs, including Keith Brown, Derek Mackay and John Swinney, have all been involved in this project and not one of them took the time to look at significant oversights written into the contract.
“The Scottish Government has spun and twisted its way out of taking responsibility for the incompetent management of one of its flagship infrastructure projects. That is not good enough and when the public are told the final bill, following more than a year and a half delay, I’m sure not one of those minister will be anywhere in sight.”
Notes for editors:
Parliamentary Question - 13 December 2018 - Index Heading: Transport Scotland
Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Government what role the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities played in the decision in December 2014 to award the contract for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) to Aberdeen Roads Ltd, and who had overall ministerial responsibility for this decision. S5W-20326
Michael Matheson: Scottish Ministers are impartial to the awarding of public contracts and therefore the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities played no role in the decision making process to award the contract for the AWPR to Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL). A decision was taken by Ministers to progress the AWPR procurement in 2012, immediately following a successful Supreme Court decision. The evaluation criteria required that the tender was awarded to the most economically advantageous tender. In this case that was ARL.