Paul Morrell will head up the government drive to make 20% cost savings on public sector building projects

An oft-heard criticism of Paul Morrell was that he talked a good game but didn’t have the power to implement any of his suggestions.

His detractors will have to come up with a new critique. On Tuesday the government published its new construction strategy to achieve cost-savings of 20% across public construction, which read like a wish-list written by Morrell himself.

The government will introduce strict cost benchmarking across all government departments and is set to trial new procurement models that challenge framework contractors to meet cost benchmarks or lose work to external competitors.

The plans also include a raft of measures aimed at helping construction firms work more collaboratively – building information modelling, integrated project insurance and the extension of project bank accounts.

And who is leading this major reform push? Step forward Paul Morrell. Morrell has been named chair of the newly established Government Construction Board, tasked with driving these changes through the public sector.

This is no talking shop role – the stated aim of the government construction board is to “strengthen the public sector’s client power”. Morrell will be at the heart of making this happen.

I spoke to him earlier today and he says he is excited by the challenge.

He said: “We have an empowered board. I have always advanced the argument there should be consistency from the supply side. Government has now made that move.”

You can read our full analysis and further insight from Morrell in the magazine on Friday.

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