MPs believe that there are “serious weaknesses” in the government’s ability to carry out large-scale projects.
The Public Accounts Committee has called for better planning from the Major Projects Authority (MPA) who coordinates the work, and stated the need for transparency where ministers or officials have rejected its recommendations. It also stated that the MPA needs more powers to stop a “huge and rising cost to the taxpayer”.
Committee chairwoman and Labour MP Margaret Hodge said: “There remain serious weaknesses in government’s project delivery capability.
“Without stronger powers, the MPA is unlikely to achieve its aim of a systemic improvement in project delivery across government.”
In May this year, the cost over the lifetime of the projects overseen by the MPA was around £488bn – up by £134bn on the previous year.
And despite the government claiming the MPA is going “from strength to strength”, it agrees that more transparency is needed around projects.
An MPA spokesman said: “The MPA is increasing transparency around major projects and ensuring projects are set up to succeed from the outset to get the best value for money for the taxpayer.
“As part of our long-term economic plan, the MPA has helped departments save the taxpayer more than £2.4bn last year. We are looking forward to building on this success.”