BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 16 September, 2002, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Network Rail 'deeply flawed'
Rail worker laying track
The report says Network Rail will be too bureaucratic
Network Rail, the company set to take over Railtrack's operations, has been branded "unaccountable, introverted and deeply flawed" by a think-tank review.


Network Rail will be less accountable than Enron and Worldcom ever were

Ed Mayo, NEF director
The criticisms were published by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) which claims the new non-profit model is too bureaucratic.

Network Rail, which is acquiring Railtrack for 500m, retaliated by saying the report was "ill-informed criticism".

It is expected to take over the running of tracks, signals and stations next month.

'Less accountable than Enron'

The NEF's key objection is that the management board of Network Rail can veto the nomination of potential 'members' or governors.

This body of people, claims the NEF, should be there to hold the company to account. But if only those allied to the board are ever nominated, it says this will prevent a democratic board structure.

"This is a missed opportunity to turn the widespread anger and frustration with Railtrack into goodwill," said NEF director Ed Mayo.

The NEF wants more staff, regular passengers and local voluntary rail groups to be involved in the running of the railways.

Mr Mayo warned the current model for Network rail means it will be "less accountable than Enron and Worldcom ever were".

'Ill-informed'

Network Rail has outlined its intention to have a board made up of six executives and seven non-executive directors.

It says the company will answer to rail industry members and representatives of passenger groups.

A spokesman for the group said:" The board will be held strongly into account by well-informed and active members".

Network Rail says an independent membership committee will put forward candidates for election and that claims of unaccountability are "ill-informed".

The NEF based its review on a report by a senior associate, Dr Johnston Birchall, a senior lecturer on social policy at Stirling University.

The group is researching other non-profit organisations and advising the government on the design of new non-profit NHS 'super hospitals', or 'foundation trusts'.

See also:

10 Sep 02 | Business
23 Jul 02 | Business
27 Jun 02 | PM
27 Jun 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes