A government finance oversight office in Britain, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has issued a harshly critical report of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) that also condemns the government for its role in a contract bidding process that involved decommissioning work at 12 sites in Britain.
Joining labor groups that were also unhappy with the process, the PAC said the government was also to blame for the fiasco that included the NDA's inability to account for $678 million after an “overly complex” bidding process awarded a 14-year contract to Cavendish Fluor Partnership, British media are reporting.
The PAC said the government should have been more astute and more vigilant concerning a bidding process involving a matter with vital health and safety risks involved. In essence, the issue was too important for the government's business-as-usual failings to be overlooked, the report said.
The NDA has repeatedly asserted that it would learn vital lessons from its mistakes that ended up costing $137 million in a lawsuit over the issue that the agency lost.
The PAC also asserted the agency suffered “untold reputational damage.”
“The NDA is entrusted with some of the most important work affecting health and safety in the nuclear industry, but this sorry affair casts serious doubt on its ability to perform its role effectively," said PAC Deputy Chairman Clifton-Brown.
"From the design and execution of the procurement process onward, the handling of the Magnox contract has been an appalling piece of mismanagement and financial waste," he said.
He also said the “central government is also culpable. Having sighed of on the NDA's needlessly complicated procurement plan, it then failed in its duty to taxpayers as issues emerged and costs grew.”
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Interesting, when will the government hold senior NDA managers to account and remove them to allow the industry to get on with the important role of nuclear power and safe decommissioning. To many NDA "experts" simply float through from the previous BNFL establishment and have no real delivery experience