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

Cross-party calls for Glasgow airport rail link to be delivered ‘as matter of urgency’

22/01/2019Cross-party calls for Glasgow airport rail link to be delivered ‘as matter of urgency’

The proposed rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre must be built “as a matter of urgency,” according to opposition pa... more >
Rail company in bid to build multi-million-pound rail depot near Ipswich station

22/01/2019Rail company in bid to build multi-million-pound rail depot near Ipswich station

Rail company Freightliner has revealed that it is hoping to build a new multi-million pound depot for its trains just outside Ipswich station. ... more >
Porterbrook awards £11m contract to modify new digital Heathrow Express fleet

22/01/2019Porterbrook awards £11m contract to modify new digital Heathrow Express fleet

Porterbrook has unveiled a £11m contract with Bombardier to modify 12 Class 387 trains in preparation for their use on the Heathrow Express... 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

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22/01/2019Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

techUK recently published its Future Mobility Services report in which it presented its vision of a multimodal, digitally-enabled, and customer-focused transport ecosystem – with the rail sector forming a major part of this. Jessica Russell, techUK’s programme manager for the Transport and Smart Cities groups under SmarterUK, repor... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

22/01/2019ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

Track engineer Dan Collins explains how an app and an iPad are transforming track maintenance in Network Rail’s Western route. Carryin... more >
Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

22/01/2019Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

Paul Baines, sales director for rolling stock at Siemens Mobility Ltd, expands on the many benefits of the £1.5bn Deep Tube rolling stock c... more >
Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

22/01/2019Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

The high value of survey equipment used to collect geospatial data on the railways is increasingly attractive to opportunistic criminals. The Sur... more >
ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

15/01/2019ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

Ahead of CP6, Howard Taylor, cost manager of railway planning and performance at the ORR, dives deep into the regulator’s assessment of wha... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >