NAO to study unedited Tube report

LU had sought to have the report banned, but was refused leave to appeal against last month’s decision which removed the injunction on the D&T report.

Court of Appeal judges agreed with the High Court judge Justice Sullivan who called the report ‘a serious report by a serious player on a matter that is of very considerable public importance.’

Transport for London released some of the main points of the report, namely that:

  • Neither the 30 year nor the seven-and-a-half year [value for money test] provides a satisfactory basis for establishing value for money;
  • Highly material adjustments to the [Public Sector Comparator] are judgmental, volatile or statistically simplistic;
  • Selection of preferred bidders too early in the process could lead to a materially adverse impact on value for money;
  • The financial advantages of selecting [one of the] preferred bidder[s] depends upon judgmental adjustments;
  • Public sector bond financing has been largely dismissed.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone, an opponent of the privatisation plans told the BBC online: ‘In the light of this independent report, London will expect the Government to honour its pledge to abandon this PPP if it does not provide value for money.’

Commissioner of Transport for London Bob Kiley said the D&T report, which he asked the Board of London Transport to consider on 18 July, revealed that the ‘government’s plans to privatise the Tube do not demonstrate value for money.’

He later told the BBC online that the government’s plan does not pass the test.

The debate over the report had pitted Livingstone against Tube boss Derek Smith, with Livingstone arguing that publishing the report was in the ‘public interest, while Smith has claimed that it was ‘rushed, wrong and riddled with mistakes’.

But Smith said the court bid was not an attempt to ‘gag’ the report, and said it held no fear for the Underground

‘But it does little to further any informed debate,’ Smith added.


Deloittes dragged into Tube row

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