The Public Accounts Select Committee has published a report into the risk assessments of Carillion in the run up to its failure. Here's a snippet:
"The Carillion assessments show that:
- Although Carillion had been rated Amber owing to performance against contracts with the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice, it was not until after Carillion issued a profit warning in July 2017 that Government downgraded Carillion to Red. It appears the Government was not aware of Carillion’s financial distress until this point.
- In November 2017, officials recommended a provisional Black rating for Carillion. However, following representations from the company, the Cabinet Office did not confirm the designation. Carillion collapsed less than two months later."
On a very strange (but welcome) transparency note, even the assessments themselves were made public.
What it appears to me is that by November 2017, plans should have been privately put in motion to forestall a potential (though not certain yet) entrance into administration, ie how to handle ongoing contracts, securing access to sites, etc. That for me is much more important than knowing exactly when the rating moved from amber to red and then finally to black.
On a final note: who and when had access to these risk assessment reports, ie only the Cabinet Office or the wider public sector which could have been tendering contracts with Carillion as a bidder.