The new Charter, jointly signed by Government and the industry, sets out several basic building blocks to change behaviours and working practices in major project delivery.
Behind the commitments – seven for Government and four for the industry – lies an ambitious attempt to reform the processes behind major infrastructure projects.
Infrastructure UK is steering the reform process and from the industry standpoint four key trade bodies involved in civil engineering have all signed up.
Paul Skinner, the chairman of IUK’s advisory council, said: “Infrastructure UK’s Cost Review points to some of the shortcomings in the current approach to planning and delivering infrastructure and has proposed a number of significant new initiatives.
“Previous attempts to bring about improvements have largely failed to embed the cultural and behavioural changes vital to underpin more collaborative and efficient models.
He warned: “A new culture and business models are essential if clients and industry are to have the confidence to innovate and be capable of rising to the challenges set out by Infrastructure UK.
“The commitments set out in this Charter are the building blocks for change.”
Infrastructure UK has worked with the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Construction Products Association and the Institution of Civil Engineers on the Charter.
Representing the four bodies, ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin said: “Infrastructure UK has set out an ambitious programme of change for both the government client and our industry, and it is essential that we all work together to deliver an infrastructure sector that is fit for the 21st century.
The Charter is at the heart of this change, defining and delivering a new model for behaviours by both the client and the supply chain.”
Government will seek to:
- Better transparency and certainty around the infrastructure forward programme
- Group projects into more efficient longer-term programmes
- Encourage innovation and improve procurement for earlier integrated supply chain involvement
- Seek the best whole life outcome rather than the lowest cost
- Select contractors on their ability to deliver innovative solutions set against transparent and affordable cost targets
- Develop appropriate client technical expertise and intelligent commissioning capability
- Create the environment for industry to invest in new technologies and skills improvement
Industry will seek to:
- Improve coordination and communication with Government
- Help Government develop and implement new models of procurement to reduce costs and remove wastage
- Develop long-term strategies to invest in innovation, training and improve safety, productivity and skills
- Promote industry collaboration and joint venturing as a means to improving efficiency and growth