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12/06/14 13:15

First Minister appoints judge for Edinburgh Trams Inquiry

Lord Hardie appointed to lead public inquiry into the Edinburgh Trams project.

First Minister Alex Salmond has announced the appointment of Lord Hardie as the chairing judge to lead the public inquiry into the Edinburgh Trams project.

The appointment comes after the First Minister announced a non-statutory inquiry will be established into the project.

Mr Salmond said:

“Last week I announced a judge-led inquiry into the Edinburgh Tram project. Today I can confirm that the inquiry will be chaired by former Lord Advocate and senior judge Lord Hardie.

“The Terms of Reference for the inquiry have been agreed with Lord Hardie. They will be to inquire into the delivery of the Edinburgh Trams project in order to establish why the project incurred delays, cost considerably more than originally budgeted for and delivered significantly less than was projected through reductions in scope.

“Lord Hardie will establish the inquiry immediately and we look forward to a swift and thorough inquiry.”

The terms of reference for the inquiry are as follows:

  • To inquire into the delivery of the Edinburgh Trams project (“the project”), from proposals for the project emerging to its completion, including the procurement and contract preparation, its governance, project management and delivery structures, and oversight of the relevant contracts, in order to establish why the project incurred delays, cost considerably more than originally budgeted for and delivered significantly less than was projected through reductions in scope.
  • To examine the consequences of the failure to deliver the project in the time, within the budget and to the extent projected.
  • To otherwise review the circumstances surrounding the project as necessary, in order to report to the Scottish Ministers making recommendations as to how major tram and light rail infrastructure projects of a similar nature might avoid such failures in future.

The next step is for Lord Hardie to appoint his inquiry team, identify a timeline and for them to begin work. Ultimately, the inquiry is expected to produce a report that provides a clear account of what happened and make recommendations as to how major tram and light rail infrastructure projects of a similar nature might avoid such failures in the future.

The advantages of a non-statutory inquiry are that it can be carried out quickly, efficiently and cost effectively to ensure that lessons can be learned for the future without any unnecessary formality. Examples of significant non-statutory inquiries in the past include the Holyrood, Bichard, Mortonhall and Chilcot inquiries.