The National Infrastructure Commission has today (Thursday May 26) launched a consultation into the process and methodology of the National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA).
In its plan to establish the National Infrastructure Commission, the government set out a responsibility for the commission to:
- analyse the UK’s long-term economic infrastructure needs
- outline a strategic vision over a 30-year time horizon
- set out recommendations for how identified needs should begin to be met
This will be done through the publication of a NIA once a parliament.
The NIC is consulting on how it intends to take that work forward.
Publishing the consultation Lord Adonis, Interim Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission said,
The NIC was established to transform the way we plan and deliver major infrastructure in this country – the National Infrastructure Assessment will be central to that task.
The NIA will be an enormous piece of work, but the prize is greater still. Our national infrastructure affects every aspect of our daily lives, and costs us billions each year to develop and maintain.
Developing a serious and strategic long-term approach will help reduce unnecessary delay, costs and congestion. The NIA will secure better infrastructure for us all, more value for money for the taxpayer, and greater certainty and security for investors.
The Commission is delighted to launch this consultation and we welcome all contributions.
The National Infrastructure Commission will provide expert, independent advice on pressing infrastructure issues, and produce an in-depth assessment of the UK’s major infrastructure needs on a 30-year time horizon. Its objectives will be to:
- foster long-term and sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK
- improve the UK’s international competitiveness
- improve the quality of life for those living in the UK
- the National Infrastructure Assessment Process and Methodology Consultation can be found on GOV.UK
- responses to this consultation should be sent to NIAEvidence@nic.gsi.gov.uk by 5th August 2016
- this consultation sets out a proposal for the process and methodology of the NIA including that:
The commission intends to develop a National Infrastructure Assessment in two key stages:
Vision and priorities:
The first stage of the NIA process will be to determine a vision of the UK up to 2050, to identify resulting long-term infrastructure needs and to highlight priority areas for action over the medium-term. This report will be published in summer 2017.
A National Infrastructure Assessment:
The commission will consult widely on the Vision and Priorities report to inform its final conclusions on the UK’s infrastructure needs and priorities to 2050. The National Infrastructure Assessment will be published in 2018, containing recommendations for how the identified infrastructure
The NIA will assess the infrastructure system as a whole. It will look across sectors, identifying and exploring the most important interdependencies and resilience implications, showing both the opportunities and risks associated with the interactions between different sectors.
The commission will also look at cross-cutting issues which affect the delivery of infrastructure including governance, sustainability, funding and financing, costs, resilience, performance measurement and project appraisal methodology.
The commission will develop a NIA in line with these objectives, whilst ensuring that the recommendations are consistent with the UK’s carbon and environmental commitments. In developing an NIA the commission will be:
- open, transparent and consultative
- independent, objective and rigorous
- forward-looking, challenging established thinking
- comprehensive, taking a whole system approach, understanding and studying interdependencies and feedbacks
The commission’s remit covers economic infrastructure. In line with this, the NIA will look across transport, energy, water and sewerage, flood defences, digital and communications and waste. The government has decided that the commission’s remit will not include housing supply directly. However, infrastructure can affect the viability of housing projects both large and small, and housing supply is an important driver of infrastructure need. As such, the government envisage that “the commission will consider the potential interactions between its infrastructure recommendations and housing supply”.