Labour's Margaret Hodge, who chairs Westminster's powerful Public Accounts Committee, said the embarrassing and costly debacle exposed flaws in Whitehall processes.
She called for "proper accountability" to "raise civil servants' game" and improve quality and standards after three Department for Transport staff were suspended following the Government's U-turn which will cost taxpayers at least £40 million.
Mrs Hodge said today: "It exposes in a very stark way that the present conventions on accountability between civil servants and ministers to Parliament and the public aren't working.
"People came into the civil service in the past because they were interested in policy, they wanted to devise policy.
"Today, the job of a civil servant is much more about delivering programmes, and that requires a different set of skills."
She said more training was needed to ensure "incredibly bright, talented, committed" staff could manage projects.
Mrs Hodge wanted civil servants to stay longer in their jobs so they could develop expertise.
"The way you climb the greasy pole in the civil service is that you change your job every couple of years," she said.
"That's a disaster and we need to leave people in post so they take proper responsibility for the very difficult and complex job they have to do.
"Then we have to open up this issue of accountability so they can't hide behind lack of accountability for not telling us what the outcomes are."
Mrs Hodge's call came as Scotland's Transport Minister Keith Brown prepared to make a statement on the "shambolic" cancellation of the West Coast contract, which has sparked two independent inquiries.