A newly established public construction board will drive 20% savings

The government has unveiled its most comprehensive strategy yet to drive efficiencies and cut costs in public sector procurement by 20%.

In its construction strategy launched today the government reaffirmed its commitment to make savings of 20% across public sector construction projects by 2016.

The package of measures includes the much-trailed roll-out of Building Information Modeling and the introduction of strict cost benchmarking across all public projects.

The strategy says the government will introduce new forms of procurement designed to encourage the integration of the supply chain, and will make less use of lump sum tendering on price. This will include setting benchmarks for a job within a contractor framework, with the recourse to direct tendering if none of the framework contractors meets the price.

The programme of change will be overseen by a new government construction board chaired by construction adviser Paul Morrell.

The board will co-ordinate projects across the public sector and will publish a rolling two year forward programme of infrastructure and construction projects on a quarterly basis where public funding has been agreed.

The newly established body will also oversee the implementation of the Infrastructure Cost Implementation Plan and the government’s responses to the James review and McNulty review.

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “These savings are not only significant but long overdue. The commitment to reduce the cost of construction by 20% is no small thing, but it will help the government and the construction industry.

“This strategy will stimulate growth by enabling more to be constructed within the funds available.’

Paul Morrell, government’s chief construction adviser, said: “The government construction board will help strengthen the public sector’s client power in the scoping, design, procurement and delivery of all construction projects.

“We will work with the government and the construction industry to enable more effective relationships between the two in order to enable growth and sustainability across the sectors.”

The full government Construction Strategy can be accessed here.

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