The New OSE which will be supervised by the Ministry of Transport will take overall responsibility for all matters of safety and continuous improvement of the railway system
In the reorganization of the OSE the government is proceeding in cooperation with the EU in order to deal with the chronic pathologies of the railway sector in our country.
To date, the operation of of three companies involved with a railway projectwith multiple joint responsibilities and interfaces, parallel, conflicting and/or complementary responsibilities, results in the impossibility of unified strategic planning, coordination, development, maintenance, management and full control of the railway network, with consequences the delay in project implementation, and the possibility of losing valuable resources (human and financial). Also, there is a significant overall burden on the State Budget from the multiplicity of personnel with corresponding qualifications and responsibilities for similar procedures within the three companies.
For these reasons it was deemed necessary and the immediate radical modernization is planned for the development of the railway sector, implementing the following important changes in the way of organization and operation of the public pillars of the existing system (OSE, ERGOSE, GAIAOSE) as follows:
A new, unified, modern public body is created, with OSE as its core (“New OSE”)which fully assumes the role, obligations and responsibilities of the Railway Infrastructure Manageras described in the European institutional framework, while becoming solely responsible for all the studies and projects carried out on the railway network, the management of the rolling stock as well as the stations and other facilities of its property.
They join the new company in addition to the current OSE : a) ERGOSE S.A. and b) GAIAOSE S.A. in the part that concerns the operationally critical part of its activity for the railway (rolling stock, active railway facilities).
The New OSE will take overall responsibility for all safety issuesand continuous improvement of the railway system, cooperating with the other bodies in the sector (Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, RAS, Hellenic Train and other operators) in the context of the implementation of a new approach with systemic analysis and risk management, in application of the EU guidelines and of the relevant Action Plan prepared by the Greek Government.
The establishment and organization of the new organization will be legislated. Its responsibilities will fully cover those of the current OSE, ERGOSE and GAIAOSE and will be supplemented appropriately, in order to address gaps and/or weaknesses in the existing way of operation of the bodies.
The new operator will be Public Company iowned by the Greek State, with its Board of Directors appointed by the Greek Government, in compliance with the principles of transparency and meritocracy. The New OSE will be supervised by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
Distinct Operational Sectors will be created within the organization to which the existing operational project will be integrated with the necessary adjustments of OSE, ERGOSE, GAIAOSE and the relevant organizational units (General Directorates, Directorates, etc. units) that implement it. The respective supporting (administrative) departments of the three companies will be merged into a single Administrative Sector, to take advantage of the relative economies of scale.
After an international tender, a company with proven technical and administrative experience in the administration and operation of respective bodies will be hiredas “Technical Management Consultant” of the New OSE.
The Technical Management Consultant will contribute expertise and specialized senior managementtaking over on a daily basis, all of the Company’s operational tasks, as well as the more specific responsibility of operating critical Operational Sectors for a period of at least three years, applying proportionally international experiences adopted in the past by respective railway Organizations.
The New OSE will draw up a strategic and operational plan and enter into a performance contract with the supervising Ministry through which it will be monitored against agreed performance indicators and measurable targets.
The New OSE will take responsibility for all the projects and other contracts of OSE, ERGOSE and GIAOSE (rolling stock, active stations, etc.) that are in progress and which will continue uninterrupted based on a special provision of the new law.
The New OSE is significantly strengthened in addition to know-how, personnel and systems, utilizing European and national resources. Particularly:
Expertise: The Declaration of Intent for Cooperation, which has already been concluded between the competent Ministers of Greece and France in the field of rail transport, will be used, with a main focus on the issues of risk management, safety and interoperability of the rail network. In addition, the transfer of know-how that will be achieved by the Technical Management Consultant to the New OSE is recognized as of critical importance.
Staff: The new body will be staffed by all the staff of the two bodies (OSE, ERGOSE) and the relevant staff of the GAIAOSE activities department that will join the New OSE. At the same time, its staffing is expected to be significantly strengthened with carefully selected additional new staff that will exceed 600 people and with qualifications that will meet the requirements of the new jobs that will be defined. The first group of recruits is expected to be completed within 2024, while the rest of the staffing reinforcement will proceed in stages, until the middle of 2025, also based on the staffing requirements that will be determined by the Business Plan of the new entity.
Systems: The New OSE will be equipped with the most modern train traffic management safety systems (ERTMS), as well as network utilization optimization, many of which are already being installed on the OSE network and GAIAOSE owned trains. Additionally, an advanced digital organization will be redesigned from the ground up and equipped with modern information systems (asset register, planning and monitoring systems for studies and projects, modern dynamic information and passenger service system).
The reorganization of the OSE is financed by the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RESF) and will be fully implemented by the end of 2025, with interim milestones:
- the submission of the implementation plan of the transformation which will also contain drafts of the proposed legislation and the announcement for the international competition for the recruitment of a Technical Management Consultant (TMC) of the “New OSE” during Q2 of 2024,
- the passing of legislation for a new OSE and publication of international tender documents for the TSD by the end of 2024 and
- the approval of a multi-year investment program and the signing of a new performance contract between OSE and the Greek state until June 2025.
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