You are out of date on this. You are correct it has the five-year funding blocks from ORR. But it now also has the annual vote of funds, which came in once it was acknowledged to be a nationalised company. It is the British requirement for financial management of nationalised institutions.El Pollo Diablo wrote: ↑Mon May 16, 2022 8:57 amAs a former employee of one of these companies, I can safely say you're not correct here. Network Rail is funded in five-year blocks, decided upon by the ORR, and the amount allocated is legally binding. They are not allocated money annually. Having moved onto a different public sector organisation which is much closer to being a government agency, Network Rail is pretty far from being that.IvanV wrote: ↑Mon May 16, 2022 8:40 amIf you want to see examples where a state-owned company isn't very different from a government dept/agency situation, then you don't have to look very far: National Highways (formerly Highways England and before that the Highways Agency) and Network Rail. Both of these are subject to annual budget votes of funds, and may borrow only from the National Loans Fund, just like a government department. They do each have a regulator/monitor between them and the departmental owner, to try and create a situation similar, for example, to privatised electricity distribution companies. It doesn't seem to work. I don't claim to know a better answer to these. I have never claimed/thought that privatising them was a good idea.
It is set out quite clearly at paragraph 6.4 of the Framework Agreement between the Department for Transport and Network Rail.
Each financial year. Each financial year the DfT tells them how much money they have got. Even though last financial year it may have set out "subsequent years", each financial year they will come along and say how much this year.6.4 For each financial year the Department will notify Network Rail of its formal budget control totals for that and subsequent years.
Very little attention is drawn to this in public. But, having done work for ORR on both National Highways' and Network Rail's financial management, I can assure you Network Rail in practice finds that this a very real p.i.t.a.