HS2

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

Up to £58m funding commitment for Cardiff Central Station upgrade

22/07/2019Up to £58m funding commitment for Cardiff Central Station upgrade

Up to £58m funding to upgrade Cardiff Central Station has been confirmed today, 22 July, by the transport secretary. Subject to t... more >
RSSB: Railways crucial in UK becoming net zero-carbon by 2050

22/07/2019RSSB: Railways crucial in UK becoming net zero-carbon by 2050

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has said that Britain’s railways have a crucial role to play in helping the UK economy deca... more >
Rail North Partnership review sets out recommendations

19/07/2019Rail North Partnership review sets out recommendations

A review of the Rail North Partnership, headed by Leeds Council leader cllr Judith Blake and rail minister Andrew Jones, has set out recommendati... 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

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >