The Construction Confederation has criticised the government’s Kelly review of construction capacity for ignoring problems in local government spending
The review, published last week, recommended that the government involve the industry earlier in large projects to ensure firms could schedule their resources to meet demand. The industry has welcomed this move, but claims the report ignores the need for reform in local government procurement.
Stephen Ratcliffe, chief executive of the Construction Confederation, said that proposals to introduce public-private advisory boards on larger projects would aid long-term planning, but expressed concern at lack of investigation into local government procurement.
He said: “There is concern over the review’s assessment of future public sector demand, which is focused largely on central government departments and agencies while excluding the majority of local government spending.”
Ratcliffe added that the report may have prematurely flagged up some projects for industry involvement. He said: “Some of the projects outlined in the report have not yet featured in departmental spending commitments and so may never get off the ground.”
Some of the projects outlined in the report have not yet featured in departmental spending commitments
Stephen Ratcliffe, Construction Confederation
However, he welcomed the government acknowledging for the need to improve procurement: “Subject to further investigation into regional trends in the North-west, the report concludes what we have felt for some time – that while there is sufficient capacity to meet demand there is room for improvement in the procurement process.”
Meanwhile, the RICS argued the review could only benefit high-level procurement. An RICS economist said: “The review could be useful at the very top level, but anything more sounds like micro-management.