Historically, less than a third of major government projects have kept to initial plans and original estimates of time and cost.
All future major projects must be able to meet all original plans and deadlines, within budget.
We created the major projects team to help support government departments carrying out a major project. The major projects team covers 2 areas - the Major Projects Authority (set up in 2011) and construction.
Major Projects Authority
We are responsible for improving the performance of major government projects. To achieve this we:
- report to government on the progress of all major projects by maintaining government’s major projects portfolio - listing all of the major projects for each department
- approve the required Integrated Assurance and Approval Plans (IAAPs) for each major project or programme
- provide assurance at important stages in the course of a project to make sure it will still be completed on time, to cost and to the needed level of quality, and become directly involved in any major projects that are failing
- report publicly on the portfolio every year to create transparency in major government projects
We’ll use the knowledge and lessons learnt from the successful London 2012 construction project across all major government projects. We’ll also share the information with the wider construction sector and use the London 2012 construction project as a representation of the capabilities that exist in UK plc.
Major Projects Leadership Academy
Created in 2012, the Major Projects Leadership Academy has been developed and is run in partnership with the Saïd Oxford Business School and Deloitte.
The academy will build the skills of senior project leaders across government, making it easier to carry out complex projects effectively. This will reduce the need for expensive professional advice from outside government, while strengthening skills within the civil service.
We aim to have had all major project leaders started on the Academy’s programme by 2015. In future no one will be able to lead a major government project without completing the Academy programme.
We aim to reduce the cost of construction work up to 20% by the end of the current Parliament (2015). We’ll reduce cost, improve skills, increase innovation and reduce carbon emissions by:
- making sure the market remains competitive between suppliers by knowing what projects should cost through effective price benchmarking
- making sure fair and prompt payment terms are used, such as Project Bank Accounts
- developing new models of procurement for services - cutting out waste and speeding up the procurement process
- adopting new digital technology by deploying Level 2 Business Information Modelling and Government Soft Landings by 2016
- gradually improving data on the government’s pipeline of future work and openly sharing this with industry
Operational PFI savings programme
We aim to maximise the value from existing private finance initiatives (PFI) in England, bringing more money back into frontline services. To support this, a central programme team has been set up in HM Treasury to bring together cost-cutting initiatives. They do this by:
- working with public service contracting bodies to help increase savings
- improving the management of existing contracts
- learning lessons from projects to inform further development of the way PFIs are managed
Francis Maude announced the creation of the Major Projects Authority (MPA) in 2011. The MPA is part of the Cabinet Office and has been given authority by the Prime Minister to oversee and direct the effective management of all large-scale projects that are funded by central government.
The MPA aims to address the findings from the National Audit Office (NAO) report ‘Assurance of high risk projects’ and from the Major Projects Review, both published in 2010. In ‘Assurance for major projects’, published in 2012, the NAO found that the MPA had already made a significant difference to major projects but there is more to do.
We are working to ensure the structure and operation of the MPA is now built to last.
Who we’re working with
The MPA works with all departments across government to help improve and increase the success of projects. The MPA works mostly with:
- Ministry of Defence (MoD)
- Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
- Home Office (HO)
- HM Treasury (HMT)
- Department of Health (DH)
- Department for Transport (DfT)
- Infrastructure UK (IUK)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
- Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
The construction team works with the following departments to help identify the construction pipeline, develop data and benchmarking, run trial projects and share best practice in construction:
- DfT including Highways Agency (HA)
- Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) including Environment Agency (EA)
- Department for Education (DfE) including Education Funding Agency (EFA)
- Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
- Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)
Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, Chloe Smith, and Chief Construction Advisor, Peter Hansford, work with the construction team and following departments to ensure that strategies work in unison with policy and legislative changes, to carry out reforms in both the infrastructure and construction industries and to implement the greening government commitments:
- Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS)
- HMT / Infrastructure UK (IUK)
- DWP / Health and Safety Executive (HSE)