16 May 2002
Statement by Mr K Y Yeung, Chief Executive Officer
I speak for the Management team of the Corporation.
The Ernst & Young report makes for a comprehensive and fair description and assessment of our corporate governance and the way we manage our capital works programme. I accept it in its entirety.
In the case of the three contracts covered in the report, it is clear that our reporting procedures have not been adequate. I also admit that the chain of reporting, from middle management to senior management and from senior management to the Managing Board, was unsatisfactory. For all this I accept responsibility.
I am sorry that, as a result of these procedural deficiencies, the Managing Board has not been consulted as fully as it would like or in a timely manner. I am also sorry that this may have played a part in bringing about this investigation.
That said, with West Rail substantially completed on time and within budget, there is little cause to question the intrinsic soundness of our contracting strategy or our project management. They have worked well and the report says so.
Nevertheless there is always room for improvement. I agree with the Chairman that we will need to beef up the New Railway Projects Steering Committee and possibly extend this to other committees of the Board. For the future monitoring and management of new railway projects, I will seriously consider and put in place the recommendations made by Ernst and Young. I will treat this as a priority task. And I will consult the Managing Board with proposals to change existing procedures and to introduce new ones.
I would now like to pass on to Mr Blake and Mr Thoms for any comments they would wish to make.