Wales Audit Office urged to investigate A465 procurement process

Welsh Conservatives have called for a Wales Audit Office investigation into the procurement process that preceded work by Costain on upgrades to the A465.

 

Shadow Economy Secretary, Russell George, wants the WAO to look at the process behind awarding the contract – including preparatory work undertaken by potential bidders to analyse the logistical challenges faced by the scheme.

 

Mr George also wants the Auditor General to look at the agreement with Costain to ensure the Welsh Government has taken adequate measures to protect taxpayers from the cost over the project going over budget and deadline.

 

The Montgomeryshire AM has already asked the Cabinet Secretary for clarification over additional costs, amidst concerns that taxpayers could face a £50 million bill for the delays.

 

He said:

 

“These delays are causing real pain to businesses in the region, and taxpayers could well end up footing the £50m bill.

 

“You would have hoped that there would have been a proper geological analysis at the tender stage, and it is deeply concerning that these issues are only emerging so late in the day.

 

“The Wales Audit Office has already undertaken analysis of the Welsh Government’s approach to major road projects, and we’d like to see an investigation into the procurement process itself.

 

“In particular, we need to be reassured that the Welsh Government is taking appropriate steps to protect the taxpayer from delays which are beyond government control.

 

“It’s still not clear who is picking up the bill for this shambles!”