Monday, 18 May 2020

What's wrong at Transport?

MPs sitting on the Public Accounts select committee have criticised the Department of Transport’s permanent secretary Bernadette Kelly, claiming that she did not pass on briefings from HS2 Ltd suggesting it could not deliver phase one of the project to budget and on schedule. {From reports on BBC and the press.]

It would not have happened in my day (or even that of Peter Black, who has also written on this subject). When I joined the old Ministry of Transport at one rung above the bottom of the clerical ladder, the Perm. Sec was Sir Thomas Padmore, "an outstanding administrator and manager, an understanding and tolerant man of absolute honesty and integrity" (wikipedia). His successor, Sir David Serpell, made a favourable impression on an earlier member of the Public Accounts Committee, Tam Dalyell, who described him in his obituary as an extremely able man, one who really cared. One cannot imagine either of them dissembling in front of the PAC.

No comments: