Our letter, published in The Times today, calls for the government to confer enhanced powers and supporting resources on the IPA.


Sir, As experts in many of the construction disciplines we set up CIG Services to help to improve governance in the implementation of projects. We are grateful that you have published three excellent accounts of the crisis of underperformance and dysfunction that characterises the construction industry. It is now time for action.

In its most recent report, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) advised that only one infrastructure and construction project out of 34 was rated as “highly likely to achieve its objectives”. We regard the corresponding failure of 33 out 34 major projects, including Crossrail and HS2, as being largely about failures of governance.

The government should give the IPA greater powers and resources. Specifically, the IPA should continue to carry out regular major project peer reviews, and should recommend actions be taken by those accountable and responsible for these projects. In effect, the IPA should act as a watchdog on behalf of the taxpayer.

Richard Bayfield, former chairman, Society of Construction Law; Nigel Brindley, infrastructure investment manager; Amanda Bucklow, independent commercial mediator; Charles O’Neil, author, Global Construction Success; Professor Rudi Klein, barrister, construction law; David Somerset, founder, Somerset Consult; Graham Thomson, CEO, Affinitext Inc; Nick Field, independent construction consultant; Stephen Woodward, construction risk management consultant; Bob Wylie, author, Bandit Capitalism