Government infrastructure pipeline needs reality check

Aaron Morby 5 years ago

A group of leading investors, contractors and consultants have called on Government to reform its vaunted £413bn infrastructure pipeline of projects.

Research by the Infrastructure Forum said less than 8% of the 276 projects included in the Infrastructure and Project Authority’s National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline were sufficiently certain for contractors to invest to deliver them.

It also warned that lack of visibility of public sector projects was driving many of the unsustainable behaviours that led to the collapse of major government outsourcer Carillion and has left other major contractors in a fragile state.

The critical report published today calls on the Treasury to overhaul the whole project reporting system to set up a more certain Pledged Project List.

This would capture only those projects that have been approved for delivery by the relevant Government Department or public authority and will be procured in the short to medium term.

Of the pipeline’s total value of £413bn only £30.24bn constituted realistic potential investment for contractors therefore driving many of the unsustainable behaviours.

Graham Mather CBE, President of The Infrastructure Forum, said: “A smaller, more tightly defined list of projects that will definitely go ahead is much more valuable to the sector than an enormous list of projects some of which are already underway and some of which may never happen.”

Key recommendations set out by the Infrastructure Forum

  • HM Treasury should issue a Pledged Project List, capturing only projects approved for delivery that will be procured in the short to medium term
  • The IPA should develop a Contract Footprint Framework mapping all projects valued over £30m which have begun procurement and are under construction, acting as an early warning system on risk exposure to a contractor if they fall into financial difficulty
  • Both the public and private sectors must adopt a definition of ‘value for money’ that captures the wide range of factors that contribute to delivering social value
  • The cost of bidding for work must be reduced. Two-stage procurement frameworks offer an efficient tool to build partnerships between clients and contractors, and should be used more widely
  • All Government Department’s should accept proposals from the private sector for innovative projects and reimburse the proposer if adopted
  • The Cabinet Office should set up a mobile Procurement Team to support procurement in the public sector and develop expertise with Departments.

David Ferroussat, Development Procurement Director at Heathrow Airport Limited, chaired the cross-sector working group.

He said: “Infrastructure clients have a moral duty to provide a sustainable environment for their supply chain to deliver and operate within.

“A contract footprint framework will provide valuable information for clients by tracking its supply chain’s projects, resilience and capacity. Cross client sharing of this data would also benefit the UK construction industry as a whole.”

Latest news

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
11 hours ago

Brickwork contractor Lee Marley returns to profit

Affordable and rental homes demand lifts brickwork contractor
12 hours ago

Housing contractor Durkan suffers second year of losses

More fire safety provisions tip firm into £3.9m loss
13 hours ago

Farrans makes breakthrough on tricky tunnel job

Tunnel under Tees latest part of new £155m water pipeline job
12 hours ago

Heidelberg buys aggregates and earthworks specialist B&A

Latest deal follows acquisition of Mick George
12 hours ago

Flagship biodiversity net gain scheme flawed

NAO warns Government's flagship green development scheme at risk of failure
3 days ago

Plan in for £3bn Lincolnshire mega data centre

3.3m sq ft Humber Tech Park will be one of Europe's largest data centres
3 days ago

Green light for Digbeth 1,300 homes scheme

Warner’s Fields scheme to start with excavation and landscaping of the River Rea
3 days ago

£210m M3 Junction 9 upgrade gains consent

VolkerFitzpatrick to start work in early 2025 on Winnall roundabout, near Winchester
3 days ago

United Living wins 14-year L&Q homes repairs deal

Trafford housing upkeep deal worth £205m
3 days ago

£400m Lewisham resi-led scheme advances

Land deal paves way for Amro Partners' 1,000-home London scheme
3 days ago

McLaren gets go-ahead for Grade II listed Leeds student scheme

Springfield House to be revamped and two new wings added
4 days ago

Piling giant to fit people alarms on all rigs

Cementation Skanska upgrades site safety systems
4 days ago

Vistry to make £800m profit after subcontractor cost cuts

House builder bullish about shareholder returns after asking suppliers for discounts
5 days ago

Shareholders approve £2.5bn Barratt and Redrow merger

Final hurdle is for the competition regulator to approve the deal.
4 days ago

Green light for £80m Leith waterfront revamp

Build-to-rent homes and student accommodation scheme to be built
4 days ago

Tilbury Douglas clears Interserve legacy jobs to return to profit

Revenue tops £500m in first year as standalone contractor
5 days ago

Land deal paves way for Manchester civil service office hub

Government buys five acres at former Central Retail Park
4 days ago

Speller Metcalfe wins Wolverhampton library upgrade

Full works are due to start in the autumn
4 days ago

Skills shortage puts big infrastructure projects at risk

Government failing as an intelligent client and now over-reliant on consultancies
5 days ago

Contractors face further insulation board price hikes

Cost of PIR insulation boards set to rise another 10%
5 days ago

Henry Boot wins £36m Rotherham Markets job

Project involves upgrading existing market and building a new library
6 days ago

Keltbray hires new head of infrastructure procurement

Lukasz Olszewski will oversee rail, energy and highways business units
6 days ago

Tunnel fit out robot to revolutionise civils work

Costain and VVB Engineering part of innovative consortium
6 days ago

Funding deal for £86m wind turbine test centre

Latest investment at National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth
6 days ago

Plan in for Manchester ‘upside-down’ 18-storey tower

Landmark cantilevered NXQ building plan for city Northern Quarter
7 days ago

London 25km Super Sewer hooked up for commissioning

Tideway completes connection to existing Lee Tunnel sewer system
6 days ago

£200m Lincoln ring-road approved

North Hykeham Relief Road granted planning permission
7 days ago

£1bn Manchester Airport City plan rebooted as new sci-tech hub

Plan pivots from offices to science and manufacturing campus, called MIX Manchester
1 week ago

Record results at maintenance specialist Renew

Infrastructure maintenance work continues to pay off for contractor
6 days ago

Contractor services