“Gold Standard” Created to Improve Public Sector Construction Projects

The Cabinet Office recently published an independent review, developing a new ‘Gold Standard’ for public sector construction frameworks.

The recommendations for the new standard are designed to ensure that public sector developments consistently deliver the best possible outcome. The standard covers rail projects, schools, hospitals, prisons, and new roads.

The standard aims to outline how the UK Government and construction sector should work together to tackle waste, reduce carbon emissions, drive innovation, and ensure value for money.

Cabinet Office Minister Lord Agnew, said, “The new Gold Standard will make sure that vital public sector developments have rigorous measures in place to make sure public money is spent well and that projects are delivered successfully.”

“This will be welcomed across the public sector, the construction industry, and by the public, who have a right to expect the best possible public sector projects”.

The independent review of public sector construction frameworks and the development of the Gold Standard were led by Professor David Mosey of King’s College London’s Centre of Construction Law.

The review considered existing public sector construction frameworks totalling a combined value of £180billion and took into account more than 120 written submissions and a further 50 interviews.

The analysis discovered evidence of waste, confusion, and duplication in processes, with the primary focus often being to achieve the lowest price rather than the best value.

To tackle the issues found, the Gold Standard provides 24 recommendations that must be met by both the developer and public sector client.

Professor Mosey said, “The effectiveness of construction frameworks is hampered by duplication, inconsistency, and adversarial practices, wasting large amounts of money and impeding essential progress.”

“The new ‘Gold Standard’ for frameworks and framework contracts drives the strategic actions that will improve value and safety, manage risks, meet Net Zero Carbon targets and support a profitable construction industry”.

The review is a result of the Construction Playbook, launched by the Cabinet Office in 2020, with the aim of making sure the public sector and construction industry work together better to deliver key infrastructure projects.