Thursday, 4 October 2012

Greening's accountancy skills explained

With the role of Justine Greening in the ICWC franchise scandal receiving increasing attention, Eye thought the following tale might be instructive.
It dates from the publication of the Command Paper in March this year and records an exchange between the then Secretary of State for Transport and the World's Greatest Living Transport Correspondent.

Christian Wolmar (for it is he) recorded it in RAIL as follows:

When I suggested that it was unclear where the savings were coming from, I was roundly slapped down by La Greening.  We were allowed one question each in the press briefing on the Command Paper and I had asked her where the £3.5 bn annual savings would come from in the rail industry as it seemed an incredibly high proportion of the overall costs and I had not found any details in the McNulty report on the industry’s finances published last year. ‘Well’ she said, staring hard at me, ‘I’m glad you didn’t write the paper as it is clear that these saving can be made’.

Quite so minister, quite so.

Perhaps similar words of comfort relating to the ICWC franchise award, and in written form, sit in Philip Rutnam's desk?

UPDATE: This from the Prophet Job...

According to Conservative Home...

"It seems that auditors from PriceWaterhouseCoopers were called in by Justine Greening one week before the reshuffle. Those auditors discovered that officials hadn't properly accounted for inflation in their decision to award the West Coast Mainline to FirstGroup rather than Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains."

With one bound she was free! 

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

Hold on!

According to Politics Home...

A Downing Street spokesman said she should not have been expected to know of the issues earlier, as they involved extremely complex minutiae that ministers would not be involved in.  

Nonsense. Greening is/was accountable for the process!