Impacts case study
A number of our reports on the Department for Transport (DfT) have commented on: the mismatch in terms of skills and experiences between DfT and bidders teams engaged in commercial negotiations; and the DfT’s capacity to deal with such a large portfolio of major programmes. The Committee for Public Accounts pursued these themes, commenting in its report on the DfT’s procurement of new trains that “the department still lacks the skills needed to manage complex procurements. The department must develop, set out and implement a clear strategy for developing the capability needed to deliver its rail strategy and address the concerns we have raised over many years about its senior management capacity and its commercial skills.
What are impacts?
Partly in response to our work, the DfT launched a Commercial Capability Strategy in 2014, including a fast-track programme to give commercial experience to some graduates entering the department each year. The DfT is also enrolling senior responsible owners and project directors of the government major projects portfolio in the Major Projects Leadership Academy and developing a senior network for sharing advice.