Janet Entwistle, the Peverel chief executive, won’t increase the compensation – Peverel terms it ‘goodwill’ – offered to sites that were likely to have been cheated in the Cirrus price-fixing scandal.
Her decision is made in reply to Sir Peter Bottomley – supported by LibDem Cabinet minister Ed Davey and Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick – who last week urged her to increase the compensation to “beyond 25 per cent” of the total sum involved, or to accept mediation.
Entwistle repeats her regret that the scandal occurred and her view that “these practices were completely unacceptable”.
“As you will appreciate in the course of their investigation the OFT has had full disclosure of and access to all our information. The OFT made no finding of whether there was any over-payment for work carried out but we do accept the OFT conclusion that it is likely there was some over-payment for the systems that were supplied and installed by Cirrus. We can’t know what the price would have been without collusive tendering, but we have decided to make a goodwill payment to the contingency funds of affected developments of 10% of the price of any resulting work. We consider this to be an appropriate amount.
“I am pleased to see that you support mediation as I believe that greater use of mediation would be beneficial in many leasehold issues and is something we would generally support. However, the OFT which is an independent body, established by Parliament has made a decision following a four-year investigation, during which we have made all information available. With that in mind I do not believe mediation is appropriate here. I appreciate the concerns you have raised and I would like to offer reassurance about how Peverel Group does business today.”
Entwistle’s full reply is here:
She also forwarded to Sir Peter copies of Peverel’s Customer Charter and Code of Conduct.