SPCB recovers costs of chamber roof incident

25/06/2008

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) today announced that it has successfully recovered £647,000 of public funds following the failure of a roof strut in the Scottish Parliament’s debating chamber in 2006.

The announcement follows sustained negotiation between the Parliament and companies involved in the design and construction of the chamber roof.

Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson said:

“When the roof strut failed in 2006, the SPCB was clear it would do all that it could to recover costs to the public purse.

“Following negotiations with Laing O’Rourke and Arup, we have secured an agreement relating to the costs associated with the restoration of the roof and the Parliament moving to temporary accommodation at The Hub in Edinburgh.”

In a SPCB paper published today, details of the recovery process show that the companies have agreed to meet combined costs amounting to £647,000.

Following several rounds of negotiations agreement was reached with Laing O’Rourke that they would meet £575,000 of the cost of dealing with the strut incident. In addition, Arup agreed to waive 50 per cent of the fee for the work it did in the immediate aftermath of the incident which was critical to fixing the roof in the debating chamber and enabling business to resume – this amounted to £72,000.

On the terms of the financial agreement, the Presiding Officer added:

“Before agreeing to these terms, the SPCB sought opinion from construction professionals and from our external legal advisers, and were informed that securing 80 per cent of costs represents a ‘sensible and robust deal’.

“Considering that the cost of court action could have been in excess of £100,000 and might well have secured less money in return, the SPCB is satisfied that this negotiated deal brings this matter to a close.”

The full SPCB paper shows that the directly attributable costs of resolving the chamber strut incident was £800,000.

The SPCB paper also confirms that Laing O’Rourke has agreed to pay the Parliament £50,000 towards the £100,000 cost of dealing with water ingress in the Parliament’s car park. The company has also agreed that if the SPCB considers that any further remedial work is necessary in this regard that Laing O’Rourke could be liable for additional costs.

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