30 November 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Whitehall departments have again failed to hit Office of Government Commerce targets for improving construction procurement.
Under the OGC's Achieving Excellence in Construction programme central government departments must collectively deliver 70 per cent of projects on time, to budget, with zero defects and to customer satisfaction.
The targets, which have remained the same since being introduced in 2003, were supposed to be achieved by March 2005. The results, published by the OGC this month, show that 65 per cent were delivered on time; 61 per cent within budget; and 60 per cent with zero defects. The goal for customer satisfaction was achieved.
In 2004, 55 per cent of projects were on time and 63 per cent to budget.
A 1999 University of Bath benchmarking study found only 34 per cent of projects were on time and only a quarter to budget.
The OGC said the targets had now expired but it would continue to collect them for benchmarking purposes.
It added that the figures were adopted as part of common minimum standards mandated across government this summer. However, there is no penalty for departments who fail to deliver.
A spokesman said the OGC would raise concerns with department heads on its advisory board and at the Public Sector Construction Clients Forum, which has its first meeting this month.