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Infrastructure blog

Let's collaborate to make the future of construction better for all

19 June 2018

ICE has made recommendations to help refine government's approach to the construction industry.

Let's collaborate to make the future of construction better for all

The publication of the 2016-20 Government Construction Strategy (GCS) was effective in introducing policy to drive change, such as mandating BIM Level 2 across publicly procured projects.

Whatever your view on the specific direction of travel, the strategy is a valuable vehicle for providing a progressive and consistent approach across the members of the Government Construction Board - Department for Transport, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,  Department of Education, Ministry of Justice, Department of Health, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Environment Agency, Highways England, MHCLG and BEIS.

However, the sector has moved on and since the publication of the GCS there have been a number of commitments to different ways of working between government and the wider construction industry.

These include the commitment to offsite construction from 5 departments, the announcement of the Construction Sector Deal and the publication of the IPA’s TIP report with the commitment to better alignment of outcomes, smarter infrastructure and improved procurement processes.

This increased level of ambition will require a step change in the government/industry relationship and deliver benefits for all parties involved - most importantly to society, the customers and users of the sector.

A more productive and sustainable construction industry

To provide an industry view, ICE harnessed the expertise of our members to develop proposals setting out 5 areas of opportunity for government to refine their approach in the following areas:

  • Commercial strategy
    Using government’s substantial influence effectively and consistently to stimulate a more sustainable and productive construction industry through following the best practice commercial principles set out in Project 13.
  • Procurement process
    To develop an approach to that provides transparency and demonstrates value to the public sector while minimising the burden and costs of bidding for industry.
  • Contracting approach
    To provide a fair, open and transparent contract which supports the intent of the commercial strategy and the procurement process to successfully deliver the programme outcomes.
  • Cross-government risks
    Improving the visibility and mitigation of cross-departmental risks such as immigration, skills, and taxation resulting in increased delivery confidence and optimal use of available funding.
  • Asset utilisation
    Using the new opportunities presented through digital transformation to optimise the design, operation, integration and management of the assets as a system not individual entities.

Download the full proposal and specific recommendations on policies, including BIM, project bank accounts and fair payments.

Next steps

This submission is the starting point. The door is open for government to collaborate with  industry to help shape the development of the GCS and together build a sustainable and productive future for construction and the UK.

ICE hopes to see government use its substantial influence effectively and consistently to help build an environment that fosters better working practices and deliver a step change in the relationship with industry.

  • Hannah Vickers, head of policy and external affairs at ICE