HS2 boss calls for pay freedom

Written by Joshua Chambers on 21 May 2014 in News

The High Speed 2 company needs to be given greater freedoms from Treasury restrictions so that it can attract the best project managers and construction workers, Alison Munro, chief executive of the project, has told Civil Service World.


“We will increasingly need to be able to pay market rates,” she said. “This is not a traditional civil service activity: building a £17bn project, we are competing for people who could be out in the Middle East delivering projects, so increasingly, we do need to be able to pay market rates, and that’s one of the discussions we’re having at the moment.”

“We’re going through discussions at the moment with the Treasury and with the Cabinet Office to ensure that, going forward, we do have the freedoms that we will need as a construction company,” she added.

“The original justification for setting us up as a company was to recognise that we would need, growing over time, more freedoms and more distance from government to really be able to deliver High Speed 2 efficiently,” she explained.

Munro also admitted that there have been problems in developing the business case for HS2, but said the problems were caused by using the standard Treasury methodology. “This is a standard approach for transport infrastructure and transport projects, but it doesn’t really capture all of the benefits of a transformational project like High Speed 2,” she argued.

“By focusing initially on using that standard appraisal methodology, we spent not enough time really demonstrating the wider benefits that High Speed 2 could bring.”
The line’s ability to regenerate northern cities isn’t “captured in the standard methodology,” she added.

See also: Interview: Alison Munro


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chriseaglen (not verified)

Submitted on 21 May, 2014 - 22:53
One of the people who created costly route from limited sections and missed the lowest cost route connecting to the WCML. How to rush a project plan and fail to maximise fare box income.

Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted on 30 May, 2014 - 22:56

arthur mason (not verified)

Submitted on 30 May, 2014 - 23:44
Here we go, - more reasons to add to rising costs. So, - it's a "special case" now, is it? Just keep PILING it on, - it's only taxpayers' money.

jill parry (not verified)

Submitted on 31 May, 2014 - 00:56
What EXACTLY are the WIDER BENEFITS????????????????????????????????????????????????

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