Memorandum produced by the National Audit Office, in response to a request by Andrew Selous MP, on the A5 Dunstable Queue Relocation Scheme
1 Jan 2006
” MOD expects to secure significant benefits from this PFI deal which will help its accommodation arrangements in London. This was a large and complex project and my report sets out a number of important learning points relevant to other PFI deals under development.”
“With Government plans to increase infrastructure spending to £19 billion over the next three years, the need for widespread implementation of good practice now has a greater degree of urgency.
“This report highlights the urgent need for change in the procurement and management of new construction, refurbishment and repair and maintenance. The problems of the construction industry have been well described in the many reports on the industry, the solutions to many of these problems have been identified – there is now no excuse for not getting it right.
“I hope that my report will provide encouragement to those in the construction industry and their clients who are already changing and motivation to those who are finding the challenge more difficult.”
The Office of Government Commerce, the Treasury and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions welcomed the NAO report for providing very real encouragement to those who were already working to change their construction practices.
The cost of modernising the Great Western railway is estimated to be £5.58 billion, an increase of £2.1 billion since 2013, and there are delays to the electrification of the route of at least 18 to 36 months. The Department for Transport and Network Rail have begun to improve the management of the programme but they have more to do to protect value for money in the future.
“NOMS is maintaining the prison estate well and is obtaining value for money in how it does so. But there are areas to improve: the Agency needs a better understanding of the costs of planned works; it should standardise more spare parts and materials; and understand better the right time to switch from maintaining an old asset to buying new. Once these measures are in place it will help the Agency plan maintenance work, and control finances, more effectively.”
“The improvements to planning and cost control are to be welcomed. The outlook is certainly better than it was in 2001. But there are still serious challenges in Network Rail’s own structure and in the rail industry in general which the Government must overcome if we are to see a reliable and affordable rail network in the future.”
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