Scottish ferries contract hit by fresh delay

Scottish ferries contract hit by fresh delay

 

 

One of the two vessels being built for CalMac as part of a controversial ferries contract has been delayed until 2024, it has emerged.
 
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The vessel, currently known as hull 802, was expected to enter service between October and December next year.
 
But Ferguson Marine has now said that the vessel will not be ready until the first quarter of 2024.
 
The two vessels, hull 802 and the Glen Sannox, will be more than £150m over budget and five years late.
 
The news emerged the day after a BBC documentary uncovered evidence of a number of irregularities in the awarding of the original £97m contract.
 
Documents obtained by BBC Disclosure indicated that Ferguson Marine benefited from preferential treatment.
 
The Scottish Conservatives have called for a police probe into the suggestions that the process may have been rigged.
 
Government-owned ferries agency CMAL has defended the procurement and said an audit in 2018 found "no adverse issues".
 
However, Scotland's Auditor General has now been asked to investigate.
 
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he was concerned by findings in Tuesday's BBC Disclosure programme, but said it was not the place of government to call in the police.
 
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon later told Holyrood she had not seen any evidence of criminality in the procurement and construction of the ferries, but she insisted coming to that conclusion was "not my job".
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