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Examination of Witnesses

Part of High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 11th July 2013.

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Terry Morgan: At the end of the day, we are very mindful that we are dealing with public money. Obviously the process we follow must try to get the right balance between individuals’ aspirations, which are sometimes very high, and what we think is right and proper in terms of the best use of public money. I think it is very important to focus on being as responsive as you can. I have to say that sometimes the process can frustrate. Only 2% of the claims we have had were referred to the tribunal, which is the process that people can follow. However, there is no doubt that, by its very nature, trying to manage what is right for the individual and what best protects the public interest can sometimes frustrate people, because they expect an instant answer.

I would say that generally it is again part of the learning process. We now have a much better process to deal with people’s expectations about what is possible. We try to make sure that people understand exactly what they are going through with the compensation process. Part of that is to maximise as much as we can very early on, and to leave those areas that are subject to a degree of assessment to a process that actually determines that we have done this in a fair and equitable way. So I think it is under control, to be frank, but there will be examples.