The value for money of 43 major government projects is at risk according to a report released today by the National Audit Office (NAO).
The projects which are together worth approximately £200bn are at risk because of ineffective leadership, lack of skills and experience within the departments running them and project leaders without enough commercial experience.
The report highlights the areas in which the Government are lacking personnel with necessary skills. The gaps include areas like contract management and risk identification. Mr Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “There is still not a coherent system for providing skills across government or for using the existing skills as efficiently as possible.”
The Government are, according to the NAO report, attempting to fill these gaps by the recruitment of temporary staff, which does not solve the problem. A spokesperson for the NAO said: “the culture of staff frequently moving positions within a department often leads to commercial experience and expertise being lost by projects.”
The Major Project Review Group found that out of 12 projects assessed, eight of them were lacking in specific skills and experience areas.
A report by the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) found that the Department for Children, Schools and Families had spent £1.35M on a single consultant over a three year period. This type of expense occurred because the department lacked the necessary skills and resources to avoid using an outside consultant.
The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) refused to identify: which eight government departments had ineffective commercial leadership from their commercial director; which eight Senior Responsible Owners on major projects do not have substantial commercial experience; and which eight major projects were lacking in specific skill and experience areas.
We leave it to you, the reader, to decide for yourself which of the following engineering based major government projects are the ones lacking experience, commercial leadership or commercial experience from their leaders:
Infrastructure Planning Commission
Building Schools for Future
Carbon Capture and Storage
Prison Capacity Programme