A new Treasury-backed forum that is intended to speed up implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) and get projects moving has met for the first time.
Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander launched the new National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum (NIPSEF) at the ICE on Monday. The forum will bring together government and key representatives from all sectors of infrastructure industry to identify priority actions to speed up implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP).
The forum will be co-chaired by Alexander and a representative from the Infrastructure Alliance on an annual rotation. First co-chair will be Association for Consultancy and Engineering chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin. The other members of the Alliance - the ICE, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Construction Products Association - will each chair the forum over the next four years.
The forum is scheduled to meet at least twice in the first year and will be formed of senior executives from infrastructure delivery, financing, asset owner and managers, as well asrepresentatives of business end users. Its first meeting proper will be held in January.
ICE director general Nick Baveystock, who will co-chair the forum for the ICE, said the forum will provide a “much needed platform” to unite key players and remove barriers to infrastructure delivery.
“Transforming the National Infrastructure Plan from a brochure into reality is a complex task and as expected with a challenge of this scale, there are problems and barriers that need identifying and resolved swiftly – sometimes by government, sometimes by industry,” he said. “The Strategic Engagement Forum provides us with a much needed platform to unite all the key players – from the delivery supply chain, investors, asset owners, managers and regulators, to infrastructure end users - to not only discuss solutions, but also drive them forward. We should embrace this opportunity and show collective drive and conviction in making it work.”
The desired outcomes and outputs for the forum will be:
- Continuous strategic dialogue.
- Monitoring progress against NIP delivery and suggesting any necessary remedial action.
- To ensure government is aware of industry views on NIP.
- To advise on barriers to the delivery of NIP and on mitigation/removal of these barriers.
- To disseminate the Government and Forum’s work to industry on the NIP.