In December 2022, CMAL instructed its solicitors, Addleshaw Goddard, to appoint a King’s Counsel to carry out an independent investigation into allegations of fraud and rigging of the Hull 801 and 802 contracts. This allegation was made by the BBC as part of the Disclosure ‘Great Ferries Scandal’ documentary, aired on 27 September 2022.
As a public body, CMAL is legally required to investigate any allegations of fraud. As noted in the KC report, the findings are legally privileged and publication of the report in full or in part, is entirely at the discretion of CMAL.
CMAL is committed to being open and transparent. For this purpose, CMAL will waive the legal privilege of this document, and the report is now available to read in full.
Kevin Hobbs, Chief Executive of CMAL said:
“We welcome the findings of Barry Smith KC‘s independent investigation, which has established no evidence of fraud in the procurement of vessels 801 and 802.
“We do, however, recognise that the report identifies a number of missteps over the course of the procurement during 2014 and 2015, and mitigations have been in place for several years to ensure these do not happen again. For example, all parties involved in a CMAL competitive tender are required to sign a confidentiality agreement, and all clarification meetings with bidders are now carried out using the same method of communication.
“The KC’s report recognises the CMAL team at the time of this procurement as diligent, dedicated, hardworking individuals—which we stand by entirely. This is also true of the current team, who are firmly focussed on the delivery of these vessels, working closely with Fergusons to ensure they enter service as soon as possible.”