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by Louise Wilson
21 October 2022
Nicola Sturgeon to give evidence on ferry fiasco

The ferries are expected to be more than two-times over budget

Nicola Sturgeon to give evidence on ferry fiasco

The First Minister is to give evidence to MSPs regarding the two delayed and over-budget ferries.

The parliament’s Public Audit Committee will hear from Nicola Sturgeon in two weeks, on Friday 4 November.

It is investigating the awarding of the procurement contract to Ferguson Marine shipyard and the events since.

The two ferries were commissioned in 2015 and were set to be delivered two years later.

But construction work is still underway, five years late, and the price tag has more than doubled.

In a report earlier this year, Audit Scotland highlighted “multiple failings” had led to the current situation.

It said there was a “lack of transparent decision-making, a lack of project oversight, and no clear understanding of what significant sums of public money have achieved”.

In particular, it raised questions about the decision to award the contract to Fergusons without a full refund guarantee.

Sturgeon has previously said the "buck stops" with her as First Minister, though she also said it was the then transport secretary, Derek Mackay, who signed off on the award.

Other serious questions about the Inverclyde shipyard being given “special treatment” and claims the decision was rushed to ensure it could be announced at the SNP conference will also be raised.

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