TOP civil servants responsible for Hampshire’s white elephant fire control building have been promoted, a damning report has revealed.

The latest embarrassment to the botched FiReControl project comes from the Commons Public Accounts Committee, which calls it one of the “worst cases of project failure”.

The building at Kites Croft is likely to stand empty for 25 years, costing taxpayers more than £50m in rent.

Fire chiefs are now considering merging with a neighbouring service, but will still snub the new facility as it is too big and too high tech for their needs.

In its report the committee says: “The project was beset by poor leadership and characterised by a high turnover of senior management staff. There have been five senior responsible owners and four project directors. None have so far been held to account for failures and most have suffered no hindrance to their career. The department’s accounting officer between 2005 and 2010 is now the top Civil Servant in Scotland.”

The MPs said the scheme “was characterised by very weak project and contract control which ruled out any chance of overcoming the flaws in the way the project was approved.

“We have seen many examples of poor project management before but in this case poor management was a consistent feature across most aspects of the project.”

The plans to merge nine South East control centres were abandoned last year.

The committee, which scrutinises public spending, also raised concerns about further spending. Committee chairman Margaret Hodge said: “The department now plans to spend a further £84.8 million to secure the original objectives of FiReControl, so that there is a co-ordinated response to national incidents. It is not clear to us how this will deliver value for money or achieve the objectives intended.

“No-one has been held to account for this project failure and the careers of most of the senior staff responsible have carried on as if nothing had gone wrong at all.”