Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Turner Contemporary Builder R Durtnell & Sons fined £711,115 for rigging contract bids.

You can check this out on the Office of Fair Trading’s website see http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/parties-and-fines.pdf

The story is about building firms engaged in unfair trading practices se the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8268116.stm

Here on the KCC website conformation that it is this building firm http://www.kent.gov.uk/news/nover-turner-building-work.htm

Some of the questions begged here are:

Was KCC right to engage a building firm under investigation for rigging contract bids?

Was the contract rigged?

Will workers on the Turner Contemporary be laid off so the builder can afford to pay the fine?

Picture (click on it to enlarge) from my publication Ramsgate's Answer to Turner & Tracey by Bob Simmonds click on the link to view the book http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/id135.htm

Update I have been assured that the contract for the Turner Contemporary has at no time been the subject of an investigation into rigging.

I should like to make it clear that I haven’t suggested it was and that I am sure £17.5m is a fair and reasonable cost.


  1. This is what KCC said at the time:

    Cllr Mike Hill, KCC’s member for community services, said: “We are confident in the selection of R Durtnell and Sons Ltd as the preferred contractor to build the Turner Contemporary gallery.

    “We were aware of the ongoing OFT investigation, however, in the absence of any formal action being taken against a contractor, their inclusion on the OFT list should not influence a robust tender selection process.

    “Our selection process was carried out according to very stringent procurement standards and we are confident that the tender for this project has been rigorously conducted.”

    Now if you had been accused of a crime would anyone employ you until the outcome of the case was know?

    The disturbing think is that the directors of this and the other companies involved in the charges colluded to cheat the public (and private sector).
    With more than 100 building companies involved it seems to have been an accepted practice by the directors of these companies. With all the projects that KCC are involved in how could they condone this by appointing the builder they did?
    Only last week, to justify KCC setting up commercial activities, KCC cllr Ferrin claimed that KCC thought that bus companies and employment agencies where operating a monopoly for KCC tenders. They may have been right but they should have exposed these companies and reported to the OFT and not taken the action they did.

    I assume that all these directors are immuned to procecution unlike benifit cheats.

  2. This is quite scanadalous, but now accepted as normal. It is just a bigger game of ' is this an insurance job, mate?'. Corruption is now rife in our public bodies as £millions of tax-payers hard earned money is wasted by Central Government (Labour) and numerous Local Authorities (Conservative). Who has bribed whom in the TC construction game?

  3. Anon it is all the game.

    If we, as contracting electricians, got to know about penalty clauses on a contract you can bet your life we would get the site ever closer to delay penalty and force the backroom accountants and managers off our income auditing case and start making some good money in exchange for bring it in on time and commissioned.

    Every level has its game. If the auditor is winning nothing gets built.


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