Press release

Government construction strategy to reduce costs

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has published the government’s new construction strategy.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude publishes the government’s new construction strategy today (31 May 2011).

The strategy will reform the way in which government procures construction across all sectors, and in doing so will reduce costs by up to 20% by the end of this parliament, helping both the government and the construction sector. 

The government’s plan for growth, published alongside Budget 2011 and the infrastructure cost review implementation plan, published earlier this year, highlighted the critical importance of an efficient construction industry to the UK economy and the need for reform of public sector construction procurement to improve value for money to taxpayers and enable the construction industry to focus on bringing forward innovative solutions. This strategy sets out the detailed programme of measures government will take to reform the way in which it procures construction.

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.

I fully support the challenge that the government’s construction strategy sends out to the public sector and to the construction industry. The public sector needs to be a better, more informed and strategic client. The construction industry, in turn, will benefit from a more collaborative working relationship with the public sector, allowing for innovation, increased efficiency, and delivering better value for money.

To provide effective co-ordination and alignment of procurement across the government’s construction and infrastructure programme a new Government Construction Board, chaired by Paul Morrell, the Government’s Chief Construction Adviser, will be established.

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 2 in order to enable growth and sustainability across the sectors. 

The strategy sets out challenging new ways of working that will deliver considerable benefits not only to the taxpayer, but also enabling growth in the industry and better understanding of the future direction for public sector construction.

A steering group drawn from government and industry will be established to provide industry joint leadership in implementing this construction strategy. 

The Cabinet Office will lead the construction strategy implementation plan, co-ordinating with the Infrastructure UK cost review programme, and other activity across government and industry to ensure the benefits are delivered on live projects and programmes for both government and industry alike. The outcomes will contribute to the long held vision of a fitter client and construction industry, delivering value to the public sector at lower cost and with improved industry competitiveness. 

Paul Skinner, IUK Executive Chairman, said:

IUK’s infrastructure cost report identified opportunities and benefits for infrastructure clients and industry. This report and the implementation plan published in March this year have already stimulated an improved dialogue between government and the construction industry. 

The new Government Construction Board will play a vital role in coordinating  implementation of the new Government Construction Strategy with the IUK cost review programme, ensuring  that we have a coherent strategy for dealing with the wider construction industry. I welcome this coordinated approach across government. The challenge now is for industry leaders to respond and provide the coordinated level of support needed.