Tuesday, 26 February 2013

DfT - Uniformly dreadful

So. The Public Accounts Committee has published its report into the cancellation of the InterCity West Coast franchise competition.

The accompanying press release is littered with phrases like "complete lack of common sense", "fundamental errors" "littered with basic errors", "failed to learn from previous disasters", "failed to heed advice from its lawyers", "failed to respond appropriately to early warning signs", "did not have proper oversight of the project" and comments that "the project showed a lack of leadership".

The release continues: "There was no single person responsible from beginning to end and, therefore, no one who had to live with the consequences of bad policy decisions...".

"We are astonished that the Permanent Secretary did not oversee the project because he was told he could not see all the information which might have enabled him to challenge the processes, although it was one of the most important tasks for which the department is responsible."

"Given that the Department got it so wrong over this competition, we must feel concern over how properly it will handle future projects, including HS2 and Thameslink. The Department needs to get its house in order and put basic principles and practices at the heart of what it does, with an appropriately qualified and senior person in charge of the project throughout and an accessible leadership team ready and willing to hear and act on warning signs."

Quite so.

Of course it is all too easy to snipe from the sidelines.

Therefore, Eye is determined to make a constructive contribution to helping DfT "get its house in order".

On page 42 of the PAC report is this telling gem:

£230,000 on uniforms that will never be worn!!!

Eye insists that all officials at the Department (as well as Villiers, Hammond and Greening) are required to wear these totems of profligacy when in Whitehall and on or about the railway.

Perhaps that might engender a greater sense of team spirit and visible accountability?

UPDATE: This from Alias Schmidt & Jones...

Hey, are there any picture of these uniforms? 

And are they now for sale somewhere?

 If so, where can I get one? 

If not why not?

Eye understands that they are in secure storage and ready to be used as required. Apparently there are sufficient for any large-ish size TOC!