News story

Major Projects Authority report shows improved project management

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

The second Major Projects Authority annual report shows how the government’s most significant projects have performed in 2013 to 2014.

The government has published the Major Projects Authority (MPA’s) second annual report into the performance of 199 major projects with a forecast lifetime cost of £488 billion. It forms part of our commitment to improve project management and transparency and save taxpayers’ money.

Alongside the report, the MPA’s Red-Amber-Green (RAG) project ratings, or Delivery Confidence Assessment ratings, give a snapshot of the challenges for the government’s projects in September 2013. See the latest major projects data.

In this year’s report:

  • half of the 30 projects with the most significant challenges last year have improved
  • 47 new projects have entered the MPA’s portfolio; other projects have left and are now up and running, including the New Passport Programme, the Greater Anglia Rail refranchising and the project to establish the Canal & River Trust
  • almost half of project leaders have attended the government’s new Major Projects Leadership Academy, part of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford; this world-leading initiative will improve project leadership
  • in the past, more than half of project reviewers were consultants; last year that figure fell to 13% through developing in-house skills
  • we are publishing more information about more projects, with around a third fewer exemptions than last year

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

As part of this government’s long-term economic plan we are improving the way our major projects are run, helping save £1.2 billion in 2012 to 2013 alone. All leaders of these projects will go to our new training school at the University of Oxford.

Before the last general election there was no central assurance of projects; a lack of the right skills and problems were not systematically highlighted before they spiralled out of control. We know that transparency drives up standards and helps save hard-working taxpayers’ money.

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the MPA said:

The MPA focuses on ensuring that the government does projects the right way. Critical to this is building leadership capability, clarifying project leaders’ accountability and responsibility for delivery, while ensuring that rigorous project planning and assurance is undertaken on all of the government’s major projects.

Major Projects Authority

The MPA oversees the government’s biggest projects. It ensures a proper assurance process for projects and helps government departments to find the right people with skills to complete projects successfully.

The MPA’s first annual report was published on 24 May 2013.