UK Government to face committee following scrapped ferry contract


11 February 2019

The Public Accounts Committee has published as evidence a National Audit Office memorandum, The award of contracts for additional freight capacity on ferry services.

Chair's comment

Public Accounts Committee Chair Meg Hillier MP said,

“The scrapping of the Seaborne contract, and the NAO review we have published today, raise serious issues which we will explore at our session on progress with Brexit preparations on Wednesday.

The Department for Transport waited until September 2018 to start thinking about the risks to freight transport across these important routes and entered into a £13.8m contract with Seaborne Freight despite it being a new operation, owning no ferries, and not having binding contracts to use the specified ports.

We will be pressing the Department for answers on how it awarded its three new ferry contracts, what it is doing to manage risks and exactly what it intends to do now it has axed the contract with Seaborne.”

The Committee takes evidence from the Department for Transport and Defra on Wednesday, February 13 for its inquiry Brexit and the UK Border: further progress review.