More heads should roll…
Andrzej Wach, former Chairman and CEO of PKP SA. Photo PKP.
Andrzej Wach has been sacked from the position of Chairman and Chief Executive of Polskie Koleje Panstwowe SA. While the sacking is being spun as the first decisive move by Andrzej Massel, the new Undersecretary of State responsible for railways at the Ministry of Infrastructure, our sources indicate that his sacking (and that of former Undersecretary of State, Juliusz Engelhardt) was decided at a meeting on 20 December between Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, and his good friend Cezary Grabarczyk, Minister of Infrastructure. For legal reasons PKP SA must have a chairman and so existing board member Maria Wasiak will be acting chairman while a search for a permanent appointment is made.
Many industry observers believe that Massel must cut deep into the PKP hierarchy is he is to make any impact upon the complacent and self-serving management of the PKP hierarchy, nicknamed beton (concrete) by Poles. The senior management of PKP form a series of interconnected networks which blur accountability and encourage corruption. The former Rail Minister, Juliusz Engelhardt, was a previous member of the PKP SA supervisory board with which he retained friendly relations. Maria Wasiak manages eke out her wretched salary as Director of Promotions and Social Affairs on the PKP SA main board by taking a second job as chairperson of the PKP Intercity supervisory board. Pawel Olczyk is so badly paid as the director responsible for real estate and property matters on the PKP main board, that he has had to take on a second job – chairing the supervisory board of PKP Informatyka, the PKP subsidiary responsible for information technology.
This miserly approach of rewarding its top management extends down to PKP regional directors and managers many of whom have had to take on second jobs running private companies which tender for PKP contracts. There are even tales of PKP staff being paid twice to do the same job – once by their PKP company and a second salary from the private company owned by their PKP boss.
Will Massel be able to cut out the dead wood and change the culture of the PKP Group? A lot depends on the extent he receives the backing of Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, for any reforms he may propose – his direct boss Infrastructure Minister, Cezary Grabarczyk, seems singularly uninterested in the state of Poland’s railways.
PKP Customer Care – the replacement ‘waiting room’ during the refurbishment of Warszawa Wschodnia. Photo Zbigniew Bartus, Dziennik Polski.
(Click on image to read the original article [in Polish] on Dziennik Polski where it originally appears.)