Maude claims £1.7bn in major project savings

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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The Government has saved more than £1.7bn since it set up the major projects authority with tough new powers to improve the performance of Government’s major projects.

The big push to make progress on major projects more transparent took a big leap forward this week with the first report on progress on big schemes, which are all now rated with a red, amber, green warning system.

More than 170 major projects, with a lastest whole life cost of £350bn fall under the review, which include major infrastructure, IT and defence development projects.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “This MPA report is nothing short of ground breaking. It’s taken us longer than we hoped to get here.

“But we are publishing alongside it RAG ratings for each project – something no Government has ever done before.

He said: “Publishing this report will transform the management of expensive, important projects and will help hold Whitehall to account.

He added: “I was staggered when I came into government and found a relaxed approach to managing projects worth hundreds of billions of pounds.

“Problems were swept under the carpet where they festered at the taxpayers’ expense. In many places the Civil Service lacked project management skills and had a lamentable record of project delivery.

Since the General Election we have got things back on track and are equipping the civil servants with the skills they need. Our new Major Projects Authority has helped save over £1.7 billion – that’s £100 per working household.

“There’s much more to do but thanks to the work of excellent officials we now expect to double the success rate of major projects, compared with the figures from 2010”.

David Pitchford, Head of the Major Projects Authority, said there were still weaknesses which required attention.

“Approaches to project management vary and decisions are often made in reaction to circumstances rather than as the result of effective planning.”

Further government reforms

  • a standardised portfolio management system for departments to handle projects
  • a single online database to record successes and failures from past projects
  • The Major Projects Leadership Academy, launched with the University of Oxford’s Saϊd Business School and Deloitte, will trail everyone who leads a major project.
  • The lack of project-leadership skills is being addressed through the Civil Service Reform programme.

 

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