Former HS2 boss Simon Kirby could face action over 'shocking waste of taxpayer money'

Commons committee says former HS2 boss 'not held to account' over unauthorised payments

The Public Accounts Committee says redundancy payments worth £1.76 million 'a waste of taxpayer money'

Friday, December 15, 2017

The former head of the Government's flagship high-speed rail project could face action after an influential committee of MPs blasted a "shocking waste of taxpayer money".

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee savaged the pay-outs made by HS2 Ltd, the public body building a new high-speed rail network linking London and the North of England, under the leadership of Simon Kiby.

HS2 committed to doling out £2.76 million to 94 individuals when the group moved its London office to Birmingham. The PAC said statutory redundancy payments would have totalled only £1 million.

The PAC also suggested Kirby has not been “held to account” for his actions," and suggested HS2, and the Department for Transport which oversees it, should “carefully consider whether any further action can now be taken”.

The committee heard that Kirby failed to act on orders from the Department for Transport (DfT) to reduce redundancy schemes to statutory levels, and the “weak internal processes” at HS2 led to scrutiny bodies not receiving accurate information.

Kirby, who left the position in December 2016, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.