My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Tom Harris) has made the following Ministerial Statement.
During the earlier public stages of scrutiny of the Crossrail Bill and more recently during the House of Lords Grand Committee stage on Thursday 26 June 2008, amendments were proposed which would have placed specific obligations on the Secretary of State, the mayor and Cross London Rail Links (CLRL) to publish information on an annual basis about the project’s funding and finances.
The Government are committed to ensuring that there is a high level of transparency as to the progress and cost of the Crossrail project and we have already set out our intention in this area in the heads of terms which were signed last November by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport and Transport for London (TfL). We are currently working with parties to turn the heads of terms into binding legal documents with the intention of including a requirement on CLRL to publish financial information on an annual basis, subject to protecting commercial interests. However, in recognition of the fact that these agreements are still being developed, I am prepared to give an additional assurance that information will be made available.
Therefore, I offer the assurance to Parliament that a Statement will be published at least every 12 months until the completion of the construction of Crossrail, setting out information as to:
total funding amounts provided to CLRL by the Department for Transport and TfL in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period covered by the Statement;
expenditure incurred by CLRL in relation to the construction of Crossrail in the period covered by the Statement;
total expenditure incurred by CLRL in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period covered by the Statement;
whether the costs of the construction of Crossrail are likely to fall within the agreed budget and, if not, whether any measures are being taken in consequence; and
the amounts realised by the disposal of any land or property for the purposes of the construction of Crossrail by the Secretary of State, TfL or CLRL in the period covered by the Statement.
The first Statement will be published within 12 months from when the Act comes into force. In disclosing such information, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State or the nominated undertaker will need to take account of any commercial interests. This assurance will be placed on the Crossrail Register of Undertakings and Assurances.