The first named official of the three Department of Transport civil servants suspended over the West Coast Mainline fiasco is Kate Mingay who was an Executive Director (aka Vice President) at Goldman Sachs up to 2003. Linkedin claims she was "Head of UK Debt Capital Markets" which seems quite a lofty title for a mere VP; one can only imagine that the UK debt markets were a lot less interesting in 2003 than they are now. Anyway, she's claiming that she was unfairly scapegoated:
"My role has been inaccurately portrayed, mainly due to statements and other comments made by the Department for Transport itself.Ironic, really; given that she came from the banking sector, you'd have thought she'd have learned more about politics and sacrificial goats than it appears she has.
"I would like to make it clear that I did not have lead responsibility for this project; neither I nor any member of my team had any responsibility for the economic modelling for this project, or for any DfT project. Nor did I have any responsibility for the financial modelling in respect of this project."
Trying to kibitz what game she's playing, two main possibilities present themselves. First, that she genuinely believes that she and her team are in the clear and that she's being made a sacrificial goat; she's trying to get information out in public in the belief that The Truth Shall Set You Free. This seems naively optimistic to me; I would have thought that a far better move in this case would be to rope in an employment lawyer and use "going public" as a threat in early negotiation. Perhaps that's why I'm not an employment lawyer.
Alternatively, she realises that she's at least indirectly responsible for the mistakes, but figures she can bluff it out and rope in the PCS and Sir Gus (both of whom seem very willing to side with the civil servants) to face down the politicos; maybe she feels that putting a human face on the "mistake" is a better play for public sympathy than being a faceless "civil servant".
Ms. Mingay is listed as a (the?) corporate finance director for the DofT, and the issue around which the bid fell apart was apparently the GDP resilience model off which the bond amounts posted by FGW were calculated. It's not obvious that her team was in the clear - even if they had no input into the model (and why didn't they?) one would have thought that some sanity checks on the results would have been a prerequisite to starting their own calculations. It'll be very interesting to see the grubby details here if this gets as far as the courts.
Frankly though, I don't see this going very far. Either the DofT will cave and remove the staff suspensions (possibly with some token letter of admonition), or they'll come to a financial arrangement and pay off the protagonists as long as they find a job elsewhere in the Civil Service. After all, I can't believe that screwing up and wasting a few tens of millions of pounds is much of a bar to inter-departmental transfer...