HS2 Annual Report & Accounts

Public Accounts Committee report

The committee reviewed the unauthorised enhanced redundancy payments made by HS2 -


"During 2016–17 HS2 Ltd made £1.76 million of unauthorised payments to staff—a shocking waste of taxpayers’ money—through compulsory and voluntary redundancy schemes offered at enhanced terms well in excess of those authorised by the Department for Transport (the Department). There is no means for these sums to be recovered. The unauthorised schemes were able to proceed because weak internal processes at HS2 Ltd prevented key decision-making and scrutiny bodies from receiving accurate information. HS2 Ltd lacks basic financial controls in other important areas, heightening the risk of fraud and financial errors such as duplicate payments. This situation is exacerbated by an excessively high rate of staff turnover. Both the Department and HS2 Ltd need to address these issues as a matter of urgency to ensure that this flagship infrastructure project is delivered successfully and that the company meets the high standards expected of it. We remain concerned that the relationship between the Department and HS2 Ltd was not robust enough to prevent this and that ultimately Simon Kirby, the then-Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, has not been held to account for his actions."

See also