Examination of Witnesses (Questions 200
WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2001
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
(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
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