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Agency is bang on the money


AT LONG last a major Government client has grasped the nettle with plans to introduce project bank accounts and insurance.

It is no surprise that the Highways Agency is that client in question. It pioneered the first PFIs with its DBFO roads, grappled with awkward supply chains years before everybody else and, through early contractor involvement, is slashing years from project development.Once again it is raising the bar in its latest procurement review. If this was not enough it also aims to spread best practice to the jumble of local authorities set on doing things their own way.

Highways Agency chiefs cannot be faulted for lack of ambition, even if securing fair payment down the supply chain looks like the biggest challenge yet.Many have tried to win consensus on this in the past only to be foiled by powerful interests.

That is why all those who believe in a better industry must support the agency's efforts.

Project bank accounts and project insurance are the only way to achieve real integration down the supply chain, simply because then money ceases to be a distraction.