I wouldn't call the OLR management simply agency staff.Simplistically, the TOC is run by DfT but the top people are 'agency staff' supplied by the contractor (SNC-Lavalin, et al).
Yes they are consultants, but they have a lot of clout (Robin Gisby had a senior role in NR for instance).
With two ex-franchises to manage, and fingers in all sorts of pies (like TfN future plans), they are very influential just now.
Their independence from the TOC owning groups is also an advantage.
What they lack is any major resource at their disposal (capital, stock, staff), so all investment decisions will be at the DfT level.
One bell-weather I'm using is if LNER get to order more 80x stock for the VTEC-planned service growth (to replace 225s).
I personally expect that to be knocked on the head by DfT, along with other "growth build" projects.