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Public sector could save £5.5bn a year with 'project partnering'

The public sector could save up to £5.5 billion each year by making greater use of “project partnering” to manage construction projects more effectively, according to law firm Trowers & Hamlins.

Project partnering, which is widely used in the public sector, involves appointing the contractor early in a project, plus the use of design and price reviews in an effort to generate savings and improve the quality of work.

Projects worth around £6bn are completed each year using PPC2000, one of the contractual frameworks for project partnering in the construction sector,

David Mosey, partner at Trowers & Hamlins said: “The government is missing out on huge savings in its construction costs by failing to make greater use of the rigorous and robust project partnering models that are now in use.

“The numbers are quite staggering – this is wasted money that could be redirected to house building and other important projects at a time when cash for investment is being slashed.”

Recent research by the Association of Consultant Architects on project partnering such as PPC2000, found that public bodies made substantial savings by using partnering for construction work, according to Trowers & Hamlins.

Savings included 25 per cent on the projected £981 million cost of refurbishing and creating 969 Job Centre and Benefits Offices, and 20 per cent saved on a housing programme in Hackney worth £240m.

Project partnering can also reduce the likelihood of disputes between the client and contractors, Mr Mosey added.