A report into a late FOI info. release http://www.projectcompass.co.uk/index.php?page=aboutus&sub=publications_garden_bridge
(Summary page 7), by Project Compass identifies many more anomalies in the procurement of the 2nd Arup contract than were understood at the time this GLA report was in preparation.
This further sustains the views of the GLA oversight majority report and the increasing depth of concerns. Independent legal opinion on the entire procurement process has found it was legally defective throughout.
This has been an illegal heist, spun out by its supporters at tax payers expense and the project should be stopped before any more public money is wasted.
It is time to say enough is enough!
I would encourage those having a concern with this project to write directly to members of the TfL Board and members of the TfL Audit and Assurance Committee to ensure the matter is now appropriately dealt with. TfL have delayed for too long, and should get their house in order immediately. I enclose a link to a form letter; contact details are available on the TfL website: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-tfl-board-audit-assurance-committee-walter-menteth?trk=pulse_spock-articles
Comment on: RIBA calls for Garden Bridge to be halted
I would hope that the mayoral candidates at next weeks RIBA hustings will be invited to support Jane Duncans stand, put the project on hold and commit to a full and independent enquiry into the garden Bridge.
In a democracy public procurement must be fair, transparent and legal. Boris Johnson’s journey to California in an endeavour to raise funds specifically for the Garden Bridge design before it was put out to public tender is further evidence of the serious impropriety that has now come to light.
This is what the subsequent Invitation to Tender (Specification Purpose of the brief) stated was required:
"This initial study will help examine the potential for a footbridge in this area, considering a number of different locations and taking into account a range of constraints in the area. The appointed designer would work with TfL to identify and test broad options and to help identify a potential preferred option that could be considered further"
No mention in the ITT of any requirement for a specific design solution let alone a Garden. The tender response submitted by Heatherwick's included the design of the Garden Bridge & received the highest mark in this question category. The 2 others responded to the question. There was no ‘a prior’ scoping of a Garden Bridge in this location nor any defined need in the London plan. Heatherwick bid included Joanna Lumley as a design team member in their £172k bid; Marks Barfield £15k, Wilkinson Ayre £36.7k (incl. an engineer), and all received the same score.
Today it has come to light that the two officers individually responsible for TfL’s Garden Bridge process [Isabel] Dedring who joined Johnson on his trip to California and Richard Di Cani have left TfL to join Arups, the engineers delivering it, and from whence Di Cani originally came. The cost of [the Garden Bridge to] the public - £60m, and not a truly affordable home in sight.
So far every aspect of this ‘Jobs for the boys’ project stinks. ref also: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/muddy-waters-jobs-boys-walter-menteth?trk=pulse_spock-articles
Exports and Trade workstream will I hope include Europe as a priority.
For the industry to improve its opportunities on the continent an aim should be to further simplify access to European work and reduce the costs for all practices wishing to do so. One way this can be done is by seeking that the UK engage early with the establishment of the single European procurement passport (ref. Directive2014/24/EU). In addition we could be further lobbying for the raising of the EU thresholds without loss of transparency of opportunity, so that the economic costs of procurement are proportionate.
A more detailed explanation of this and other issues can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/author/analytics?trk=hp-identity-wvmposts
I would be happy to provide further research background.
Comment on: HS2 looking to employ smaller practices
Major infrastructure lasts generations, serves huge numbers of people and deserves to be robust, sustainable and built efficiently to the highest design quality. To achieve this also requires it should be well briefed and competitive access given to the widest possible market on a level playing field to elicit the best creative and appropriate responses. The aspirations towards standardisation maybe appropriate but are communicated in this article in such a way as to infer that this standardisation is in effect a dumbing down.
Does this large and highly visible commissioning have any real design vision or aspirations?
Keeping an eye out for OJEU notices as a way towards alignment with the Gov. policy on pre-market engagement for a project of the scale of HS2 seems remiss. Network Rail was a signatory to the Govs Procurement Pledge of Dec. 2010 which set out early measures intended to represent a long-term reform of public procurement that would help to ensure a level playing field and improve access to public procurement for potential providers of all types and sizes. Is HS2 not covered by this pledge?
While this announcement represents a shift in HS2s procurement position bringing it closer towards this pledge, it seems there is a considerable distance still to travel.