National Infrastructure Commission releases procurement assessment tool

 

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has released an updated framework to support a cost benefit analysis of different private finance and traditional procurement models.

Following the pilot trial that analysed five road schemes, the NIC refined its analytical tool, which it had released as part of its National Infrastructure Assessment.

”Local
The M1/A1 link

This is an early stage of a long-term project to improve national infrastructure procurement and ensure that government selection of infrastructure procurement models is made with a robust consideration of broader factors beyond cost.

The work is intended to develop a tool for public bodies to analyse the costs and benefits of financing and procurement models as well as project appraisal decisions, taking into account whole-life and wider social impact factors.

'The lack of a strong evidence base on infrastructure procurements has led to the focus on a single measure of performance, usually short-run cost. Long term value for money and consideration of whole life factors in selecting procurement strategy needs to be the priority in future,' the report said.

'Using different procurement models where they are best suited should ensure that government can maximise the benefits from infrastructure. The National Infrastructure Commission’s analytical framework is designed to develop insights into the merits and shortcomings of procurement models.'

The framework takes into account factors including:

  • asset build quality and condition
  • quality of service
  • wider outcomes, including social and environmental factors.

Proposed areas for refinement emerging from discussion of the pilot findings are:

  • inclusion of the project objectives as a dimension of the framework. This provides the base case against which a project’s outputs and outcomes are evaluated. 
  • providing explanatory notes to dimensions of the framework and recognising that operations phase activities will be impacted by sector specific characteristics
  • retaining the ‘Wider outcomes’ dimension in view of growing interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes despite this being one of the areas where lack of data limited analysis.

The NIC said it was not yet possible to draw firm conclusions on the pros and cons of different procurement models pros as a result of the initial study as a larger sample size was needed.

The research project also found that major data gaps in the public sector 'traditional procurement' projects also hampered the study.

As a result of the limits to the data, the document states: 'The Commission’s second objective of developing a robust evidence base of costs and benefits of private financing and traditional procurement using roads projects is not realistic in the short term.'

These data gaps were partly explained 'by the age of some of the projects selected for the pilot' and the fact that 'data may be held at the portfolio level (national or regional) making it difficult to access project level data'.

Better data was available on the private financed schemes, influenced by the contract provisions for monitoring and reporting.

However, the analytical work highlights areas for future improvement on these projects such as the availability of data on outturn construction costs. Generally, this data is not shared with the public procurer, a reflection of the risk transfer relationship.

NIC Chair Sir John Armitt said: 'Thirty years ago, the UK led the way in infrastructure financing and with PFI and PF2 off the table, recapturing that innovative spirit is vital. But without an objective way to determine value, officials risk making decisions with one hand tied behind their back.

'Transforming the nation’s infrastructure means mobilising private sector investment alongside that of government. It’s imperative we develop the tools to make better decisions about what works and what doesn’t and address existing concerns about the use of private finance.

'This framework encourages the public sector to view data differently and ask the right questions to get the best taxpayer deal, whatever the procurement model.'

The pilot commenced in Autumn 2018 looking at five projects managed by Highways England (three delivered by private financing and two by traditional procurement). The Highways England roads projects used in the framework pilot evaluation were:

  • A419/417 Swindon to Gloucester
  • M1/A1 Bramham to Lofthouse Link
  • A1 Darrington to Dishforth
  • A1 Dishforth to Leeming
  • A43 Improvements

'The findings from the pilot support the recommendation the Commission made in the Assessment for collection of data on project costs and performance at each appraisal stage and on project completion. Where this data is reported at the portfolio level, there is a case for data management systems to be designed in a way that allows project and asset level data to be accessed easily.'

The commission now plans to explore the framework further in other areas of infrastructure.

Previous analyses in this area had only looked at construction costs rather than wider, more long-term results.   

Despite the current ban on new PFI and PF2 schemes, not all the UK’s future infrastructure pipeline will be delivered by public financing.

At least 30% of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s infrastructure pipeline to 2028 will be delivered by privately financed investment, and 15% by the regulated utilities, the NIC said.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Highway Rangers

Epping Forest District Council
£24,354
Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) is seeking to recruit two Highway Rangers within our Contracts and Technical Services department Epping Forest, Waltham Abbey
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Head of Highways, Transport and Recycling

Powys County Council
£77,282 – £84,102 per annum 
We are seeking to recruit a highly motivated and inspirational leader as our new Head of Highways, Transport and Recycling here in Powys. Powys
Recuriter: Powys County Council

Waste Loaders

City of York Council
£9.52 per hour
Do you have a current UK driving licence? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

General Operatives/Drivers/Gardeners

City of York Council
£9.52 to £10.30 dependent upon experience
Do you have a current UK driving licence? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Programme Manager - Highways

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
Are you an experienced, talented and collaborative Programme Manager with experience of supporting public sector transformation and change? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

(Senior) Environmental Health Officer/Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
We are looking for Environmental Health Officers; EHRB registered and has current experience in food safety and health & safety enforcement. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Road worker/Ground worker

City of York Council
£10.30 per hour
Have you successfully worked as part of a team? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

HGV Relief Driver

North West Leicestershire District Council
Salary Band D, £21,589- £24,799 per year (pro rata to period of contract)
We are looking to recruit temporary HGV Relief Drivers with occasional loading duties to join NWLDC’s busy Waste Services Team. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Waste Services Worker (Loader)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band B, £18,795 - £19,171 per year (pro rata to the length of contract)
We are looking for Waste Operations Loaders to join our Waste Services Team to undertake waste collection and other related duties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Chargehand/Ganger

City of York Council
£11.09 per hour
Do you have experience of excavation, reinstatement and footway maintenance schemes? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Sustainability & Resilience Manager (maternity cover)

Essex County Council
£51510.0 - £58752 per annum
This fixed-term contract will begin in August 2020 and is expected to last until October 2021 Interviews scheduled to be held Wednesday 10th June 2020 England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Civil Service Deputy Director Roles

GOV.UK
£70,000 - £117,800 & excellent rewards
We’re looking for significant experience of engaging at C-Suite and Board levels, excellent partnership-building and... England
Recuriter: GOV.UK

Engineer (Highways Scheme Design)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post-holder will be required to have highway engineering expertise in order to contribute to efficient and effective provision of... Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recuriter: Medway Council

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Resources and Waste Commercial and Contracts Manager

Northumberland County Council
£47,107 - £50,394
We are looking for a strategic, innovative and performance-focused leader to join us as Resources and Waste; Commercial and Contracts Manager. County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Principal Planning Liaison Officer X3

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Estate Roads Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Travel Plan Officer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Estate Roads Engineer x2

Somerset County Council
£25,295 to £28,785 per annum
We have 2 exciting opportunities for enthusiastic and committed individuals to join our Highways Development Management Team Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Design Services Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£50,430 - £55,503
We are a team of mixed experience and skills, proud to serve the people of Lincolnshire and have fun whilst doing so! Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council