Public sector lags private in delivering to cost

8 November 2012

Analysis of project KPIs in the annual Constructing Excellence/Glenigan survey shows that the public sector is lagging behind the private sector in delivering to cost plans.

CM asked Glenigan to split out the scores for private, public and infrastructure projects in five of the survey’s categories — client satisfaction, contractor satisfaction, defects, cost predictability and time predictability.

The results showed that just 57% of public sector projects were delivered to cost targets overall, compared to 68% in the private sector and 69% in the infrastructure sector.

Private sector projects also scored better on the predictability of design costs, with 88% delivered on cost or better, compared to 78% in the public sector, suggesting that public sector clients struggle to implement design freezes.

On a more positive note, 59% of public projects were on cost in terms of construction works, a similar level to 58% of private sector projects.

The results underline how far public projects have to travel to meet the aspirations of the Government Construction Strategy.

Alan Wilen, economics director at Glenigan, commented: “The public sector is worse on cost predictability, and is particularly let down by the design side. The public sector performs better in terms of predictability of time, but cost is what the government is targeting.”

Economic KPIs comparing private, public and infrastructure sectors

The Glenigan/CE research shows that 32% of publicly funded projects were delivered on schedule, compared to 29% of private sector projects. But both were outperformed by the infrastructure sector, where 49% were completed on schedule.

Looking specifically at time predictability of the construction phase, contractors on public sector projects achieved on time results in 40% of cases, compared to only 37% in the private sector projects.

On a more positive note, the industry clearly prefers working with the public sector, scoring it higher than the all-sector average for the provision of information and payment terms.

And public sector clients were also happier with outcomes than private sector clients. Clients scoring their projects at 8 out of 10 or better for customer service in 76% of public projects, compared to 71% of private sector projects.

In terms of value for money, the percentage achieving 8 out of 10 scores were 78% (public), 73% (private) – but 84% for infrastructure. 

To read more on about the survey, click here


Leave a comment