Construction school will slash use of consultants

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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The government is planning to train a new breed of civil servants to run major construction projects in a bid to slash the amount spent on consultants.

Cabinet minister Francis Maude unveiled plans for a Major Projects Leadership Academy in a bid to drive down costs on large construction jobs.

The government is currently managing 206 major projects worth more than £400bn with more than half running over time and budget.

The new academy will be created and run in partnership with Oxford’s Saïd Business School and all civil sevants leading future major construction projects like High Speed Two will have to train there.

The academy will be managed by the Cabinet Office Major Projects Authority which was launched in 2010 to oversee major projects and ensure they deliver for taxpayers.

The MPA has already saved £147m by reviewing current contracts and dumping wasteful projects.

Maude, said: “When it comes to major projects, this government means business. Taxpayers need to know that major projects will be delivered on time and to budget.

“We do have impressive expertise in the public sector at the moment, but we want to take a long term view and build this within Whitehall.

“Crucially, this will relinquish taxpayers from having to foot the bill for external consultancy to deliver the projects and services the country needs.

“This is an important step in our plans to reform the Civil Service – we want to build world-class project leadership skills within government. Starting with our current leaders, we will develop a generation of professionals that are internationally recognised for their skill and expertise.

Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service, said: “I believe passionately in the ability of the civil service to drive through these big projects, without always having to turn to expensive external consultants.

“The Leadership Academy will provide them with the skills and tools they need to manage these programmes successfully, ensuring they are delivered on time and on budget”

The first 25 entrants will start at the academy in October.

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