This month’s Podcast looks back at the lessons learnt from the West Coast Rail Franchise competition and explores why companies must remain vigilant with their model review process. For those unfamiliar with the story, The British Government instigated the Macpherson Review 10 years ago after the infamous inner-city West Coast Rail franchise competition in 2012. The UK government identified errors in a model used to evaluate bids as being a major contributor to the failure of the bidding process. The total cost of these errors to the UK taxpayer exceeded a whopping 40 million pounds.

Following their experiences with that competition, the UK government instigated the MacPherson review into the quality assurance of analytical models across government. The findings led to a much more rigorous model review process within government departments. The eight recommendations focussed around creating the right environment, establishing clear processes and publicly reporting this.

For government departments tasked with the preparation of business-critical models need a range of spreadsheet modelling tools and techniques to provide assurance to those making the decisions based on these models. Operis, expanding on the principles outlined in the HMRC Echo Book, developed a spreadsheet modelling course for the MOD, Defra, Ofgem and the DfT. For those who want their analysts and economists to have a grounding in analytical quality assurance and quality control using the best spreadsheet modelling practice please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Listen to the Podcast in its entirety below.

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Erwan Fournis
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Jun Tao
Global Head of Model Audit & Financial Modelling

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Michael Jarman
Head of Modelling

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Erwan Fournis
Global Head of Financial Advisory

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Chris Aldred
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