The CBI has previously called for public bodies to engage with the market early-on when developing infrastructure projects. This process gives businesses time to prepare for the tender process and delivery of the project.
In a speech to the CBI, the Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden CBE MP, announced all central government commissioners should engage early with the market and be ready to demonstrate their proposals have been informed by a market health and capability assessment.
These decisions come as part of the government's 'Outsourcing Playbook', which has been designed to improve how government works with industry to deliver better public service.
Other measures detailed in the playbook include allocating risks to those best able to manage them and piloting new projects before rolling them out. The Minister says these steps will ensure that future outsourced services are set up to succeed and provide the best possible public services.
Speaking to business leaders at the CBI, Oliver Dowden said:
"Our new measures will improve how the government works with industry and provide better public services for people across the country. I can today provide reassurance that the Playbook makes explicit that, when designing contracts, departments must seek to mitigate, reduce and then allocate risks to the party best able to manage it."
...the Playbook will re-emphasise the need for departments to engage early and thoroughly with the Market and will ask them to produce a market health and capability assessment.— Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation
And these assessments will be kept under review throughout the life of a contract, not filed away to gather dust in a digital desk drawer.
This is a significant win for business. As part of the CBI's campaign to unblock the issues surrounding the UK's infrastructure pipeline - ultimately with the goal of getting more critical projects funded and completed - we will continue to lobby for additional policy change.