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11.10.12

Calculations missing on West Coast decision – PWC

The DfT ‘lost’ calculations on the decision over the West Coast bid, a new report suggests.

After Virgin applied for a judicial review of the process, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was appointed by the department in late September to go over the figures.

The study showed the absence or loss of calculations showing how civil servants arrived at their decision, the Telegraph reported. It states it is unclear whether officials failed to save the results, or lost or deleted calculations.

The report also show the GDP resilience model was not properly applied for the last three years of the contract, and the DfT made errors confusing real and nominal inflation. The revenue forecasts were not correlated with how many passengers could actually fit on the trains.

A DfT spokesman told the Telegraph: “We are not going to give a running commentary on what went wrong.”

A FirstGroup spokesman said: “The DfT has provided us with information and we are working through it.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has launched two reviews into the process, one aimed at the West Coast franchise in particular, and a wider audit of all live franchise competitions.

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