PAC report blames rail fiasco on 'fundamental errors'

The Department for Transport's aborted West Coast franchise competition was because of 'fundamental errors' from 'blinkered and rushed' senior officials, says a report published today by the Public Accounts Committee.

Following the Laidlaw report in December 2012 the Institute stated that the handling of the franchise competition was possibly “an early glimpse of what happens when parts get stretched too far doing too many things at the same time”, as a ‘fragile’ Whitehall gets through a challenging era of cuts.

We also noted that the Laidlaw report highlighted confusion in governance procedures, particularly over the balance between accountability and responsibility, an issue we’re examining as part of our accountability project.