Water warning

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I write in response to your report, “Keep water supply in our hands, warns union” (23 February).

I recall Anglian Water taking over the Morrison civil engineering and construction company some years ago. One reason quoted was to strengthen their expertise in out-sourcing.

Subsequently they claimed that they had been misled into paying too much as a result of some over-estimate of the value of contracts in hand. I do not recall either a legal settlement or reports of one out of court.

I hope therefore that the Scottish Government’s officials will do thorough assessments of risks as well as having a performance bond and appropriate other safeguards in the contract.

When the Scottish office had one of its patrol vessels built in Lowestoft some time ago, it did so, after the tendering process, in a contract so protected.

The vessel was built at a yard with a proven record and after an internal assessment of the tenders by marine, financial and legal officials.

Subsequently there were the necessary inspections of work in progress by the Marine and Engineering Superintendents. Incidentally, the vessel was completed under budget and ahead of time, with no “commissioning sickness” when it entered service.

LV McEwan

Kirkhill Road

Edinburgh

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