HS2

01.11.17

HS2 hires new finance director amid redundancy payment controversy

HS2 has brought in a new financial director as the organisation attempts to tackle questions over unauthorised redundancy payments.

Elizabeth Gillbe – currently finance and analysis director at Crossrail – will join the company in January next year.

The decision comes in the wake of chief financial officer Steve Allen resigning from the organisation last week following the revelation that HS2 had overspent by almost £2m on redundancy payments.

Speaking at the Public Accounts Committee this week, chief executive Mark Thurston commented: "We think we've got a good hire there, she comes with a lot of good experience.

“These are really key positions for us as a company, so it's important we get the right people who can grow both individually and professionally with the life of the programme.”

Unauthorised redundancy payments of over £1.7m have caused havoc within HS2 since the irregularities were revealed in July. This week the PAC heard that previous chief executive Simon Kirby had been told directly by a DfT executive to not offer the redundancy packages, adding that he had potentially defrauded the taxpayer through the overspend.

As well as Gillbe’s appointment there is expected to be a new HR director joining the company in the next few weeks.

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