Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 200 - 224)

WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2001

MR TONY MUSTARD AND MR JEROME FORMAN

  220. So you would not have any impression as to whether or not, based on what you are saying, anybody taking a decision as to whether to invest would find it more difficult, in the circumstances, and it is not other factors that would be playing their part, in terms of investment?

  You would not be in a position to be able to comment on that?
  (Mr Forman) I could comment as a person.

  221. Could you comment to this person?
  (Mr Forman) I have not done very well in investing.

  222. Do your concerns about a breakdown in working relationships under the PPP regime have implications for safety and costs?
  (Mr Forman) PPP separates two vital aspects of running a railroad, the operation and the maintenance; it is now done in LUL by Infracos who are LUL employees, so there are ongoing relationships there. People were LUL employees, they are now Infraco employees. Under PPP, there is going to be a contractual barrier between them, and it remains to be seen how significant that is.

  223. Is the audit and approval arm of London Underground sufficiently prepared, would you say, and staffed, for the potential significant increase in what is the obvious increase in workload, and what would you think would be the result from the PPP, as that is going to be affected?
  (Mr Mustard) Perhaps I can answer that one. As part of the work that we did in June and July this year, we put together an organisation that we thought would be necessary, from our experience, to manage the PPP contracts in addition to the other private PFI contracts, which also have to be managed. And we were looking at a much bigger organisation than is currently employed by London Underground.

  224. If the Health and Safety Executive approve the safety case for the PPP structure, will all your concerns not have been proved to be unfounded?
  (Mr Mustard) My experience is that the Health and Safety Executive will neither approve nor disapprove the PPP, they will comment on the proposals. I guess that the aspect of safety is not one that we have looked at in depth, we have looked at the implication of the standards as a management tool, and how to control workmanship and, by inference, if it is poor workmanship then it is unsafe. We have not specifically addressed the kinds of issues that the Health and Safety Executive are looking at.

  Chairman: Gentlemen, I apologise for this, but I think I am going to let you escape. Would you forgive me if I say that the shortness of your questioning does in no way reflect the importance of the answers. If you will forgive me, the Committee stands suspended for 15 minutes. And I very grateful to you for the evidence you have given us, and I will allow you to escape.

  The Committee suspended from 6 pm to 6.10 pm for a division in the House





 
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