die belebende Bedenkung

A culture of failing

with 3 comments

The House of Commons public accounts committee is concerned “that there appears to be a culture within HS2 Ltd of failing to provide full and accurate information to those responsible for holding it to account“, and the company “does not have in place the basic controls needed to protect public money“.

Simon Kirby, former HS2 CEO Starry surprise HS2 chairman David Higgins

When asked to identify the three top risks facing the HS2 programme, the Department for Transport was unable to do so, explaining that it ‘primarily relied on HS2 Ltd to identify and deal with risks’.

House of Commons public accounts committee, HS2 unauthorised redundancy payments a shocking waste of public money, 15 Dec 2017


Written by beleben

December 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

3 Responses

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  1. If I was Simon Kirby I would be demanding a hearing with the PAC.
    And why did anyone receive redundancy payments when surely they should have been appointed on contracts indicating that a move to Birmingham was possible.
    Is there anyone competent at HS2 Ltd?


    December 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm

  2. I’d suggest a comparison with some significant Dutch infrastructure projects in which the order of progress has been to identify the issues, and carry out a through scoping, survey and evaluation before charging ahead, and then having to keep re-scoping when the surveys and attempts to deliver the original plans(sic) reveal the project heading in the wrong direction – demolition and works set in motion before a proper plan has been signed off – and that with many unknown and untried solutions proposed.

    It contrasts dramatically with the GRIP process that takes an interminable time and demands money up front from those wanting to make significant use of rail, and invest in a route or facility, for just asking the question “Could this project be considered, and how much might it cost?”

    Retrospectively I do wonder what HS2 might have looked like given the GRIP reviews?

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    December 15, 2017 at 7:32 pm

  3. The biggest risk is that DfT ‘primarily relies on HS2 Ltd to identify and deal with risks’.

    DfT let a multi £million P-Rep contract to supposedly to provide the Promoter (itself) with assurance about progress but there no evidence that it has achieved anything. Despite numerous critical reports from MPA, PAC, NAO, House of Lords-EAC etc., DfT and HS2 has been allowed to carry on regardless.

    The 2016 NAO report pointed out that DfT & the Treasury had allowed HS2 Ltd to let contracts even though a critical Review Point had not been passed. It also pointed out that “There is a risk that assurance suffers as decisions are sought quickly, which could result in insufficiently informed decisions being made now that could have far reaching effects on the programme.” NAO noted the existence of the P-Rep contract but made no further comment. Responsible Officers at HS2 and DfT have shown little or no regard for managing public money but surely NAO is also failing in its duty too.

    The decision to use the Hybrid Bill system prevented proper scrutiny, allowing the schemes’ many flaws to escape rigorous examination. MPs were whipped into supporting the project; although most seem to have demonstrated that they lack the skills or interest to make sound decisions on complex technical projects.

    At some point the failings will emerge. Ministers will blame HS2 Ltd but there appears to be no chance that anyone will be penalised for creating and nurturing this misconceived project.


    December 16, 2017 at 9:10 pm

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