Adoption would raise level of private investment in much-needed infrastructure projects, say surveyors


Source: Network Rail

The RICS has urged government to adopt a set of internationally-recognised standards in an effort to boost private investment in UK infrastructure projects.

Launching a paper at the Labour Party’s annual conference, which kicks off today in Brighton, RICS said the adoption of International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) could increase the UK’s ability to attract private sector finance to offset the decline in public sector spending, which is set to fall to 1.4% of GDP by 2020, down from 3.2% in 2010.

ICMS were a key part of managing and attracting investments, “providing certainty to industry”, RICS added, not least amid the “ongoing uncertainty resulting from Brexit negotiations”.

According to the RICS’ paper, ICMS can “improve construction cost reporting, data collection, cost prediction and ultimately construction performance in an industry where productivity improvements are much needed”.

They also provide “a platform for unifying terminologies in the financial management of building and civil engineering projects. These characteristics can only grow the demand for professional services in an area which the UK has a strong heritage.”

Mo Rahee, RICS’ infrastructure policy manager, said: “Like the International Financial Reporting Standard, the International Construction Measurement Standard provides a level of certainty –through transparency – to investors.

“Effective and accurate reporting of capital expenditure can only benefit the construction sector by providing investors with accurate information that inform their investment decision process.”

Rahee said that government could also support the sector by identifying projects that would generate long-term revenues and have cross-party support. “This will be vital to ensure infrastructure is updated and new projects are delivered,” he added.

RICS recently took aim at the government’s latest pronouncements on planning policy, arguing that ministers needed to recognise the need to speed up housebuilding activity in order to “break the log-jam” that was hindering development.