Rail service improvements and disruptions

19.05.20

DfT responds to the Public Accounts Committee report

On Sunday (May 17th) the Public Accounts Committee published a report, stating that the High Speed 2 rail project has gone “badly off course” and demanded that Government gives regular, accurate and open updates on the problems the project is facing and progress on evolving the appropriate skills and capabilities.

The report stated that: “The Department and HS2 Ltd were aware of the scale of the project’s cost and schedule overruns as early as October 2018. In March 2019, HS2 Ltd formally advised the Department that it would not be able to deliver Phase One of the programme on time or within the available funding. However, the Permanent Secretary did not make this clear when she appeared before the previous Committee in October 2018 and May 2019, even when asked specific questions about the programme’s delivery timeline and budget.”

The report also said that: “A lack of capability continues to be an issue: by its own recent assessment HS2 Ltd still has gaps in key areas such as risk management and assurance, project management and project control.”

The Committee also said within the report that they are not, “…convinced that the Department is learning from problems across its major infrastructure projects to make sufficient and meaningful changes to its management of infrastructure programmes. In its recommendations to Government, the Committee is seeking new, formal assurances that DfT and HS2 Ltd have the capability to manage the programme and its supply chain, into construction and through to completion.”

In response to the report the Department for Transport said that: “The current Secretary of State has been clear that this project must go forward with a new approach to Parliamentary reporting, with clear transparency, strengthened accountability to Ministers, and tight control of costs.

“We have comprehensively reset the HS2 programme, introducing a revised budget and funding regime, with significant reforms to ensure the project is delivered in a more disciplined and transparent manner.

“This includes appointing the first dedicated HS2 Minister, bi-annual updates to Parliament and establishing a monthly Ministerial Task Force, chaired by the Secretary of State, to ensure the project has a rigorous scrutiny like the 2012 Olympics.”

“The Permanent Secretary acknowledged in May 2019 that there were cost pressures that the Department and HS2 Ltd were working to address in line with government policy at the time. Those discussions were active and commercially confidential.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Ep 11. With Invisi Smart shield you can confidently touch a ticket machine, Saba Yussouf

28/05/2020Ep 11. With Invisi Smart shield you can confidently touch a ticket machine, Saba Yussouf

Saba Yussouf, CEO of Invisi Smart Technologies UK, joins host Ailsa Cowen for episode 11 of Rail Technology Magazine's p... more >
Revolutionary £2.7bn plan for Derbyshire’s links to HS2 hub station at Toton

28/05/2020Revolutionary £2.7bn plan for Derbyshire’s links to HS2 hub station at Toton

A £2.7bn transport plan to deliver fast and frequent connections to the HS2 East Midlands Hub station at Toton and... more >
Ep 10. We need to keep investing in rail, Kate Jennings

27/05/2020Ep 10. We need to keep investing in rail, Kate Jennings

Policy Director and Lead Coronavirus Response Co-Ordinator at RIA, Kate Jennings, joined host Matt Roberts on Track Talk... 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

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... 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

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >