Delivery of infrastructure projects fit for Future Generations of Wales

The Transporting Our Future Generations Report (https://www.ceca.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Transport-Our-Future-Generations-Report_Final.pdf) by the Civil Engineers Contractors Association (CECA) Wales in conjunction with The Future Generations Commissioners Office was published last week (5 February).

The Report highlights the need for both the public and private sector to work differently in the development and delivery of infrastructure projects – now and for future generations.

While the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is well-defined for the public sector, it has left many in the private sector wondering how it affects them and, in particular, its involvement in public sector development projects.

The Report considers how the private sector can support the public sector in delivering on the 7-wellbeing goals and the 5-ways of working in the Act and sets out a 5-Point Action Plan, which is summarised below:

1.       Public Procurement: base procurement on the principles of the Act rather than the initial price alone. It argues that we must re-model the public and private sector relationship on the basis of the 5-ways of working as set out in the Act.

2.       Strategic Vision: develop greater clarity on what we need infrastructure to do for us as a nation based on the 7-wellbeing goals and the 5-ways of working.

3.       Funding: move to minimum 3-year funding programmes for public sector infrastructure clients to enable longer term planning and greater certainty for supply chain.

4.       Justifying Investment: base investment decisions on the 7-wellbeing goals and the 5-ways of working rather than solely on economic criteria.

5.       Cultural Change: develop and implement an education or awareness campaign across the sector to promote the wellbeing goals, the way of working and emerging best practices in the infrastructure.

The Report presents the need for a different approach to the infrastructure development process and sets out an ambitious Action Plan that promotes a more collaborative working relationship between the public and private sector in the delivery of infrastructure projects across Wales.

It will be interesting to see how this is achieved with the multiple levels of governance in Wales and pressures on the private sector, especially in a time of economic uncertainty.

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Lewis Clark, Account Executive.