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CBI hails public sector trailblazer projects for 'smarter procurement'

The CBI has hailed the government’s progress to-date on cutting the cost of public construction and the announcement of trial projects for ‘smarter procurement’.

The government’s move to introduce trial projects for new procurement models, including integrated project insurance, was revealed on Friday.

Now the CBI has added its voice to that of the construction industry in welcoming the increased efficiency measures as the Cabinet Office strives to achieve up to 20 per cent cost reductions by 2014/15.

Chief construction adviser Paul Morrell told CN it was important to emphasise that the efficiencies found would lead to more work for the industry, as savings are put back into public procurement.

CBI director of business, environment and construction Rhian Kelly said: “Construction will be a vital part of building the UK’s economic recovery, and the current state of the public finances means we must get more bang for the taxpayer’s buck. Bringing down the cost of publicly-procured construction projects, and the time it takes to build them, will help us see more benefits in terms of jobs and growth.

“The increased transparency that the publication of this data represents will not only help taxpayers see where their money is going, but also enable a more open dialogue between business and government and a more collaborative approach to procuring our schools, hospitals and roads.

“The UK needs to attract investment into its ageing infrastructure, and the smarter procurement models the government is piloting should help drive down costs and make the process of delivering new infrastructure more efficient.”

The MoD, MoJ and Highways Agency are among the early adopters of models including integrated project insurance, cost benchmarking and two-stage open-book procurement models.

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