Highland may sue after PPP sums don't add up

4th September 2009 at 01:00
A Scottish Council is considering suing an advisor who underestimated its first bill for 11 new PPP schools by almost pound;1 million

Highland Council has been saddled with an overspend of pound;754,000 because it budgeted too little for its PPP contract in the last financial year.

The first bill for the schools arrived in March and, because some of the buildings were completed in 2007-08, it covers more than a year.

In the future, therefore, the council expects the overspend to be considerably smaller, but nevertheless pound;356,000 more than expected. And this is an additional expense that will be incurred ever year until the PPP contract ends in 2037.

The council is now deciding whether to pursue an action for damages against the specialist advisor who underestimated the cost of the schools.

"In 2003 we were given advice so we would know when the schools opened what the rates payable were likely to be," said Ron MacKenzie, the council's head of support services for education.

"However, when the figure became known in March, it was significantly higher than we were expecting. We are not going to leave this alone and plan on examining all our options. If we have to go to court, we will."

In the current financial year, the council had expected the schools to cost pound;557,652 but, based on the March bill, it now believes the true cost will be closer to pound;1 million (pound;914,128), leaving a shortfall of pound;356,476.

"This shortfall represents an annual budget pressure for the duration of the PPP contract," according to a council report.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now