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Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Progress report June 2008

“The preparations for the Games are well underway. But important challenges remain which will become more formidable as the spotlight turns to London after the Beijing Games. Uncertainties over the deal for the village, legacy requirements and policing and security may add cost or compromise the preparations for a successful Games. The delivery bodies need to maintain a firm stance on cost and keep in sight the intended legacy benefits too.”

Published:
20 Jun 2008

Proposed light rail schemes in Leeds, Manchester and South Hampshire. A review by the National Audit Office of the role of the Department for Transport

The National Audit Office has examined the role of of the Department for Transport in assessing the revised proposals for light rail schemes in Leeds, Manchester and South Hampshire. Funding for these three schemes was originally approved by the Department in 2000 and 2001. But substantial increases in projected costs led to the Department withdrawing … Read more

Published:
15 Nov 2007

The Modernisation of the West Coast Main Line

“When the Strategic Rail Authority stepped in, the project to modernise the West Coast Main Line was in disarray, vastly over-budget and with few of the planned improvements in place. It was only through good direction by the Strategic Rail Authority and then the Department for Transport and through the exercise of firm management by Network Rail that the project was brought back on track so that benefits of faster journeys are now being delivered to passengers.

“The weaknesses in the management of the project before 2002 should provide ample warning of the dangers of entering into a scheme on this scale without clear leadership, plans and project management expertise; without fully engaging stakeholders; and using untried technologies.

“Future major projects should draw upon these lessons learned, give careful consideration up front to the potential effects of programme slippage and include plans to minimise these risks.”

Published:
22 Nov 2006

Using modern methods of construction to build homes more quickly and efficiently

“Modern construction methods can produce important benefits for housing authorities and developers, not the least of which is the reduced emphasis on on-site activity. This is particularly important in a time of increasing demands on an already stretched labour force. As with any new way of doing things there are risks, but these can be mitigated through good project planning and management.”

Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper said:

“We must ensure that we build the new homes that the next generation can afford. This report shows that it is possible to build faster and cheaper using modern methods of construction whilst keeping the same high quality as traditional methods. We said it should be possible to build a high quality house for less than £60,000. Now the NAO has shown that is right.”

Jon Rouse, Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation, said:

“For the last five years the Corporation has been at the vanguard of encouraging innovation and modern methods in order that greater numbers of much needed good quality homes may be delivered more efficiently. The results of this study clearly show that modern methods have a distinct and continuing role to play in the delivery of our £1.6 billion a year programme.”

Note

This report is supported by more detailed material available on an accompanying CD-ROM providing a firm basis for further improvements in using modern methods of construction. The background material includes a set of sample project plans, showing how plans need to be tailored to gain maximum benefit from modern methods of construction. Detailed cost figures are also available, outlining how we calculated costs and how cost breakdown differs across construction methods. Also included are scenario papers examining cost variations for other development types, and papers detailing the whole life cost and durability of a sample development.

Published:
22 Nov 2005

Progress on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link

The National Audit Office’s report finds that London & Continental Railways (LCR) successfully completed the construction of Section 1 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) on time and at a cost slightly below the target set in the 1998 restructuring. Drawing on the reasons for this achievement, the NAO report highlights lessons for other … Read more

Published:
21 Jul 2005

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ): New Accommodation Programme

“When a Government Department is considering major investment in new accommodation, the full scope of the requirement really must be properly defined from the outset. In this case GCHQ failed to consider all the implications of the fact that it was relocating its entire business capability to a new building and that transition of its computer systems to the new premises was a major factor.

“However, other Government Departments might learn lessons from the way that GCHQ developed its programme management arrangements for this major hybrid change programme. Departments should follow best practice and should especially focus on introducing programme management procedures to identify, plan and then deliver all the benefits attainable from their PFI programmes.”

Published:
16 Jul 2003

The English National Stadium Project at Wembley

“The road to Wembley has not been easy and the Department found itself in a difficult position in 2001. I welcome the action that has since been taken to review the project and protect the public interest. Ultimately protection of the public interest will depend on the project as a whole being a success so it is vital that the Department and Sport England stay in close touch with the project as it progresses and act promptly if they have any concerns.”

Published:
6 Jun 2003

Construction of Portcullis House, the new Parliamentary building

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, has published his report on the construction of Portcullis House, the new Parliamentary building. Portcullis House, which provides offices for 210 Members of Parliament and 400 staff together with committee rooms and other facilities, was completed in August 2000 at a cost of £234 million. The NAO … Read more

Published:
19 Apr 2002