Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall Dodging Green Checks on Building Schemes, Says PAC

Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall Dodging Green Checks on Building Schemes, Says PAC

Article excerpt

Government departments are failing to carry out mandatory environmental assessments on almost two-thirds of their construction projects, MPs have warned.

New buildings and major overhauls cost government departments and agencies about £3bn a year. But a report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee reveals that environmental checks were carried out on just 35% of new builds and 18% of major refurbishment projects in 2005/06.

Only 9% of the construction projects could be shown to meet the required environmental standards, the MPs found. Systems for monitoring compliance with standards 'have been inadequate', while accountability was split between departments, leaving responsibility for compliance 'unclear', the PAC report says.

'Departments are failing to implement Treasury guidance and assess costs and benefits of sustainable design options on a whole-life basis, partly because of pressure to reduce initial capital costs,'it adds. …

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