The government is going to spend up big on infrastructure, but they need much better controls. So far, they have been pretty abysmal at that. The construction press is full of the woes of contractors and the supply chain, but there is much less mention of client issues and losses, including those of the UK’s biggest client, the various government authorities.

If these ‘clients’ want to maintain their budgets and minimise potential losses then they need to lift their game substantially with much more thorough due diligence, risk assessment and EWS; both pre-contract and ongoing during construction.

The Royal Liverpool Hospital cladding fiasco is a classic example. Client representatives and the design team should have investigated and found the panels to be unacceptable prior to procurement. If they did not do so, or knew and did not raise the alarm, then either way it demonstrated a real lack of experience by those responsible, as with the other serious deficiencies that have been unearthed. Don’t blame the PFI process, which is robust if structured properly. This was a “people problem” directly related to training and experienceCIG Services can really assist here, as we have years of experience with PFIs and PPPs.

The well-being of clients is as important as that of the contractors and the supply chain if you want a healthy thriving industry. But clients are equally responsible for their own destiny!