New Forth Bridge project referred to Audit Scotland

For immediate release 15 December 2010

A joint letter to the Auditor General for Scotland, sent today, has called on Audit Scotland to conduct an urgent investigation into the background to the additional Forth Bridge and the alternatives to it before any contracts are let, and to advise Ministers on the timing for and nature of any such contracts so that the public interest can be properly protected.

The following have signed the letter:
* Richard Dixon, WWF Scotland
* Keith Geddes, former member of the Accounts Commission (2002-2008)
* Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party
* Colin Howden, Director, Transform Scotland
* Lawrence Marshall, former Convener of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority
* Ross Martin, Policy Director, Centre for Scottish Public Policy
* Duncan McLaren, Friends of the Earth Scotland

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"This legislation will give Ministers the power to sign contracts for a new Forth Bridge, the largest public sector contract ever managed by Scottish Ministers, but it does not require them to do so. Before they make a final decision it's essential that Audit Scotland does a full investigation into the alternatives and contractual risks associated with this project. SNP Ministers cannot simply wade in and spend more than