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Whole-life method 'can save £12bn'

Around £12bn could be “saved” in the public sector every year without scrapping capital projects, a group of consultants has claimed.

Currie & Brown said its sums apply to the entire the range of public spending projects at all levels of government.

Its cuts calculation accounts for 20% of capital project spending, including the running costs.

Currie & Brown chief operating officer Andrew Loudon insisted: “The public sector should begin to take a whole-life asset management view of projects.

“There are many positive lessons to be learned from the last 10 or 15 years, and this is the principal one.

“In our experience as asset managers, providing cost and project-management services to the public sector at every level, and right across the UK, the whole-life approach is the one that delivers real efficiency and real savings.”

Loudon called for parts of the public sector to be privatised, or outsourced, adding that improving procurement management skills in the public sector can bring significant benefits.

The government should replace the notion that simply slashing away at the number and scale of capital projects will create the appearance of making cuts with the concept of the “whole-life” approach.

He added: “The Treasury can achieve massive savings by using this approach. There is plenty of evidence to indicate that by implementing a whole-life approach together with other strategies, for example the development of a low-carbon portfolio of efficient working buildings in key sectors, they can deliver very significant reductions in continuing expenditure.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • Very interesting. What is a whole-life approach? I am just dying to find out.

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  • Don - Without going into any detail here about what whole-life, whole-of-systems approaches involve, other than to say it's an attempt at completely holistic project management, look up 'systems engineering' and that might answer your question better than I can! Regards, James.

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  • Whole Life Costing is a very good tool for estimating the long term costs of a project. Unfortunately it will not reduce the initial short term costs and may in fact even increase them to obtain long term savings. At present the aim is to achieve short term savings as we cannot afford anything more than minimum costs at this time.

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