Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A very political procurement

In 2012 I published a paper on International Lessons on Austerity Strategy - one of the key lessons being the  advantages of having projects 'shovel ready' so that you could deploy procurement to stimulate the economy and accelerate the recovery. That meant planning approvals gained and availability of construction resources 'ready to go'.

If you did that you could reduce unemployment and the human trauma which accompany it, you could also shift from paying benefits to receiving tax and national insurance income.

Today we learn that more than 200 projects are being announced to rebuild Britain - all to start during 2014/15. Some would scream "why weren't these measures taken much earlier to prevent the flooding and now dangerous condition of our roads?".

Of course the cynic could also say this investment is political - designed to create jobs and have a visible impact of 'something happening' in the run up to the election.

The spotlight now moves to the procurement, project management and risk management of over 200 major projects. If the procurement is successful the next election will see a celebration of successful delivery of improvement public services, local economic development and jobs. If the procurement is unsuccessful the spotlight can be expected to be on procurement blame.

Perhaps it is timely that Locke has just been released!

I have absolutely no understanding of the preparations prior to this announcement but it will be a significant test for the Major Projects Authority too. I assume that someone has checked the capacity to deliver on what could become a very political procurement.

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