Office of Rail Regulation: Regulating Network Rail's Efficiency

HC 1036, Forty-first Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
TSO (The Stationery Office)

'Office of Rail Regulation: Regulating Network Rail's Efficiency (HC 1036)' reports the Committee of Public Accounts' belief that the relationship between Network Rail, The Office of Rail Regulation (the Regulator), and their advisors is too cosy.

The Office of Rail Regulation is the independent economic and safety regulator of the rail industry in England, Scotland and Wales. The Regulator's duties include promoting economy and efficiency in the rail industry with much of its work focusing on Network Rail: the owner and monopoly provider of the national rail network, including track, signalling and stations.

Network Rail does not face normal commercial pressures from investors and lenders to improve efficiency as it is a not-for-dividend company without shareholders, financed by debt guaranteed by the Government. It is therefore the role of the Regulator to hold Network Rail to account for its performance and to incentivise it to become more efficient.

The Regulator sets efficiency targets when it determines the limits on fees Network Rail can charge train operators for use of tracks, stations and depots. Sir Roy McNulty's recent review of the rail industry showed that the rail industry continued to fail to achieve effective value for money.

The Committee states that the Regulator did not exert sufficient pressure on Network Rail to improve its efficiency, and that there is an absence of effective sanctions for under-performance in the system. The Regulator should enforce a stronger link between performance and bonus payments to Network Rail's senior managers.

Network Rail should be more accountable for its use of public money, and more transparent in its operations. The Committee sets out 11 conclusions and recommendations.

Extent 53 pages ISBN 9780215560506
Size A4 Price £12.00
Format Paperback Published 12 Jul 2011
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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