Recent written answers and an oral evidence session

Later today (Monday), the Transport Select Committee will be holding an oral evidence session with Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, and Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport.  This is a one-off session examining the new Secretary of State’s priorities and the Department’s annual report and accounts.

The session will start at 4.05pm and can be watched here.

In addition there have been a number of recent written answers on HS2, and in particular the replacement for Simon Kirby, who left suddenly.

Q HL1872: Lord Allen of Kensington on 13 September 2016
High Speed Two: Public Appointments
Q To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they plan to appoint a new Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd.

A Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 27 September 2016
The process of identifying and appointing a successor Chief Executive will begin immediately.

Q 46358 Asked by Steve McCabe(Birmingham, Selly Oak) on 14 September 2016
High Speed Two: Resignations
Q To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of Simon Kirby’s resignation from HS2 Ltd on achieving the 2026 target date for opening phase one of High Speed 2.

A Answered by Andrew Jones Answered on: 10 October 2016
Simon Kirby has built a high calibre team and leaves HS2 Ltd in excellent shape. Sir David Higgins remains as chair and a new CEO will be appointed as soon as possible. The 2026 target date for opening phase one of HS2 is not affected.

Q 1473 Asked by Lord Berkeley on 05 September 2016
Department for TransportHigh Speed 2 Railway Line
Q To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether consultants working for HS2 Ltd will be prevented from participating in any tender for main contractor roles in the design and delivery of HS2 in order to avoid any conflict of interest and to ensure a fair tender process.

A Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Answered on 19 September 2016
HS2 Ltd has a Conflicts of Interest Panel that considers actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest on a case-by-case basis. This Panel is chaired by HS2 Ltd’s General Counsel. This Panel is supported by an in-house Compliance team.

Q HL2001 Asked by Lord Berkeley on 03 October 2016
Q To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 19 September (HL1473), who are the members of HS2 Ltd.’s Conflict of Interest Panel; which cases of potential conflict of interest they have considered in the last year; what was their decision in each case; and whether they intend to publish this information every six months in the future.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Answered on: 13 October 2016
It is not possible to provide the names of HS2 Ltd’s Conflict of Interest Panel Members, nor details of specific cases which have been heard as we do not consider doing so would be consistent with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Unfair disclosure of personal data is a breach of the First Data Protection Principles under the DPA.

Q 46508 Asked by Grant Shapps(Welwyn Hatfield) on 15 September 2016
Q To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the next appraisal of the High Speed 2 project is planned.

A Answered by: Andrew Jones Answered on: 10 October 2016
The Department is continuing to keep the appraisal of HS2 under review and further updates will be prepared as the programme reaches critical milestones. The Government intends to announce a decision on the route of Phase 2 by the end of the year and this will be supported by an updated appraisal.

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