Ex Minister’s appeal to National Audit Office
In the wake of last week’s catastrophic accident at Szczekociny, former Transport Minister, Jerzy Polaczyk, has requested that the Urzad Transport Kolejowy (Office of the Railway Transport Regulator) be investigated by the Najwysza Izba Kontroli (National Audit Office).
In his submission Polaczyk has pointed out that in 2010, a person without any railway or practical experience was appointed to the Chair of UTK in direct contravention of the requirements stipulated in the relevant railway transport Act.
Subsequently writes Nowak, that person was fired, but not before she had dismissed all 7 of the UTK’s regional directors. People with no railway experience whatsoever were brought in on short-term (and expensive!) contracts and experienced staff started to leave.
The result was a management vacuum which led compromised UTK’s ability to oversee the effectiveness of the safety regime on the railway, at a time when railway companies were slimming down their own safety officers and cutting back on training.
Infrastructure Minister Slawomir Nowak has responded quickly to the possibility of a NIK inspection. On Monday, Marek Slowikowski was appointed to the position of Director General of UTK, a post he had been occupying in an acting capacity for several months.
On Friday, UTK announced that it is calling for candidates to apply for the post of Chair of UTK – a position that has been vacant since January this year. BTWT readers who feel they have the necessary qualifications may download the job description and application procedures from the UTK’s website here.
- Rynek Kolejowy – Jerzy Polaczek Apeluje do NIK