IFG - Government must improve the way it makes infrastructure decisions
The Government’s inability to make smart decisions on badly needed infrastructure means rail, road and energy improvements are being delivered late, over-budget and – in some cases – not at all, finds a new report.
Published today by the Institute for Government, How to transform infrastructure decision making in the UK says that Great Western cost overruns and delays to South East airport expansion show the current process isn’t keeping up with the demands of a modern economy. The UK should learn from other countries, such as France and the Netherlands, which have better decision making processes
The report also finds that government favours private finance for infrastructure projects, but there is limited evidence that it offers better value. Government should put more effort into gathering evidence on different kinds of projects.
While civil service commercial skills have improved, the recent collapse of Carillion, seemingly in part due to losses on three private finance deals, highlights the need for better management of these contracts.
The report recommends that the Government:
- create an infrastructure strategy for the entire country
- improve the way it uses cost benefit analysis and develop evidence for finance options
- establish a Commission for Public Engagement to involve local communities in major projects
- give the National Infrastructure Commission greater independence.
Nick Davies, Associate Director at the Institute for Government, said:
“The UK desperately needs an infrastructure strategy to address regional inequalities, worsening productivity levels and the housing crisis. But the Government’s decision-making process remains short-sighted and major infrastructure projects cost the taxpayer more than they should.
“While the UK needs to invest more in infrastructure, investments must be made wisely. Picking the most cost-effective options at every stage – from project selection to finance option – is critical.”
Notes to editors
- The full paper – How to transform infrastructure decision making in the UK – can be found on our website (from 00.01).
- The Institute for Government is an independent think tank that works to make government more effective.
- This report draws together the findings of a year-long Institute for Government research programme on improving infrastructure decision making in the UK.
- For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07825 021 538.
Latest News from
IEA responds to British Medical Journal report16/05/2019 12:35:00
IEA responds to report from the British Medical Journal about the IEA's work on public health
Nationalising the UKs’s energy grid would be a step back into the dark ages, says IEA16/05/2019 11:35:00
Kate Andrews comments on Labour plans
Market forces are the best way to successfully integrate health and social care, says new IEA report16/05/2019 10:35:00
IEA report encourages more competition in health & social care systems
Are the inequalities seen today a sign of a broken system? Launch of the IFS Deaton Review of inequalities16/05/2019 09:35:00
On Tuesday 14th May, the IFS formally launched the most comprehensive scientific analysis of inequalities yet attempted.
NIESR Monthly Wage Tracker: Nominal pay growth dips temporarily but is expected to stabilise at around 3½ per cent in the second quarter of 201915/05/2019 13:42:00
Nominal pay growth dips temporarily but is expected to stabilise at around 3½ per cent in the second quarter of 2019.
Consequences of a bidding war over the minimum wage could be very grim, says IEA14/05/2019 10:35:00
Len Shackleton responds to Labour plans to raise the minimum wage
End the injustice of in-work poverty: JRF responds to speech by Amber Rudd14/05/2019 09:35:00
Katie Schmuecker, Head of Policy and Partnerships at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), responds to a speech by Amber Rudd
NIESR Monthly GDP Tracker – UK economy boosted by temporary factors in first quarter of 201910/05/2019 15:37:00
UK economy boosted by temporary factors in first quarter of 2019.