Latest Rail News

18.09.15

DfT keeping on top of things at Network Rail?

Since the beginning of the year, no DfT officials have attended any meetings of Network Rail’s influential sub committees, despite knowing since autumn 2014 that there would be a multi-billion pound overrun on Network Rail’s enhancement projects

Answering a Parliamentary question from Lilian Greenwood MP (formerly the shadow rail minister, now promoted to shadow transport secretary), rail minister Claire Perry MP confirmed that “no DfT officials have attended any meetings of Network Rail's Major Projects Delivery sub-committee, Critical Infrastructure sub-committee or Business Plan sub-committee since 22 January 2015”. 

However, in response to Greenwood’s enquiry, she said officials from the Shareholder Executive – responsible for managing the government’s financial interest in a range of state-owned businesses – attended 11 meetings of the Major Projects Delivery Committee since January. 

Perry said this was “to observe, in order to improve mutual understanding between Network Rail and the government”. 

Back in March, RTM reported that the Shareholder Executive was carrying out a ‘high level board effectiveness’ review at Network Rail, as revealed in the organisation’s January board meeting. 

At the time, unconfirmed reports claimed the roles of CEO Mark Carne (still at Network Rail) and chair Richard Parry-Jones (replaced by Sir Peter Hendy in June) were under scrutiny after concerns were raised about the company’s management, especially in light of the overrunning engineering work at Christmas.

Comments

Kevin   04/11/2015 at 13:41

The problem with Network Rail is simple too much waffle, too many meetings, too much sitting on tax payers cash not enough action. In the days of the BR Board you were asked to give a quote for the whole job if the quote was accepted then the money with a small amount of contingency was handed over and you were told to get on with it, if there was cash left over it was handed back to the board. There is simply too much prevarication these days and hence vast amounts of money wasted.

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