Crossrail

07.12.18

London mayor criticised after appointing former auditor and advisor to investigate Crossrail delays

Sadiq Khan has come under fire over a Crossrail probe after he appointed a former auditor and adviser for the Elizabeth Line project to investigate the delays and spiralling costs.

Conservative MP and former minister Greg Hands has written to the National Audit Office, claiming the London mayor has “handpicked” the Crossrail auditors and that one of his appointments, KPMG, has a “vested investment in downplaying the current difficulties” faced by the project.

This is the latest controversy surrounding the £15.4bn project and the mayor in recent weeks, which came to a head this week when Sir Terry Morgan resigned as chairman of Crossrail and HS2 and claimed he was “in absolutely no doubt” that Khan knew about the nine-month delay before he disclosed the information to the public.

Khan has been accused by the London Assembly Transport Committee of “deliberately misleading” the public and committee about the delays, and has this week been summoned to appear at a hearing to explain what he knew and when.

Morgan and the committee claim Khan was informed of the delay to the project in July, but Khan insists he was only aware of budget and “schedule pressures” and said he was made aware of the postponement when the news was publicly announced.

KPMG was the independent auditor on Crossrail up until 2015, and was part of the team that prepared the original Montague Report that promoted the project in 2004.

It also played a role in advising Sadiq Khan on Crossrail 2’s development, and was appointed by the mayor to investigate the issues surrounding the project.

Responding to the resignation of Morgan, Khan said: “For a while now I have had concerns about the effectiveness of Crossrail Ltd’s governance.

“Not only was I angry when Crossrail Ltd informed us that the project would be delayed, but historically there has been a lack of adequate information shared by the senior Crossrail leadership with the project’s joint sponsors - namely, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London.”

He added: “Under new leadership, Crossrail must provide the joint sponsors and Londoners with the confidence that it has robust mechanisms in place to deliver a revised schedule, operating with a renewed sense of urgency and transparency across all parts of the project.”

The cost of Crossrail has soared around £1bn over budget, and last month the government was forced to provide a £350m short-term loan in order to prevent the project being further delayed.

Former Atkins chair Allan Cook has been appointed as the new chair of Crossrail.

A mayoral spokesperson said: “This is nonsense. The appointment of KPMG was made by Crossrail’s joint sponsors, both TfL and Greg Hands’ own government, through the DfT.

“A major organisation like KPMG previously advising an organisation does not necessarily result in a conflict. TfL have several contracts in place with the larger accountancy firms, who were all assessed to undertake the review into Crossrail’s governance and financing.

 “The decision to appoint KPMG took into consideration the immediacy of the work required and their knowledge of large-scale infrastructure projects.” 

Stefan Rousseau via PA Wire

 

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

23/05/2019Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more t... more >
Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

23/05/2019Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

Network Rail has announced five new regional managing directors as part of its “evolution” towards a more passenger-focused approach.... more >
£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

22/05/2019£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

Network Rail has awarded contracts for rail haulage and the operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services for Control Peri... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. We caught up with long running sponsors of TransCityRail, Bridgeway Consulting Limited, specialists in Site & Ground investigations, Geomatics and Infrastructure, to discuss why networking events ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >