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ONS takes construction cost data in-house after scrapping Aecom contract

The Office for National Statistics has axed Aecom from its contract to collect statistics for the Construction Price and Cost Indices (PCIs).

The decision comes in the wake of criticism from the Construction Products Association over the accuracy of the ONS figures.

On 1 April 2015, the ONS took responsibility for producing the PCIs from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which included the transfer of its existing contract with Aecom.

Aecom has been working with BIS on construction statistics since June 2013.

The ONS has now chosen not to take up a two-year option on Aecom’s contract, meaning the consultant will not be working with the ONS beyond 30 June 2015.

As a result, the ONS will develop a long-term solution to reporting the PCIs in-house, rather than outsourcing the work.

The organisation plans to publish a full outline for its plan by the end of 2015.

Aecom had initially been given a continuing role following the transfer of responsibility from BIS as part of a short-term measure to provide data of “improved quality when compared to the model estimates currently being used”.

The solution originally suggested was that the ONS would “continue to work with Aecom to determine appropriate methodologies for the CPIs”.

However, this arrangement will now come to an end.

According to a statement, an ONS article describing the method and impact on construction estimates will be published alongside the next set of output figures on 12 June.

Both Aecom and the ONS have been contacted for comment.

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