Magazine article Public Finance

Major Projects Require Greater Business Skills, NAO Insists

Magazine article Public Finance

Major Projects Require Greater Business Skills, NAO Insists

Article excerpt

The government's commercial skills and expertise suffers from 'significant weaknesses', the National Audit Office has warned.

An analysis of the government's commercial skills has found that the value for money of 43 major government projects worth around £200bn is being jeopardised by a lack of such expertise.

The NAO's report, Commercial skills for complex government projects, was published on November 6. It warned the government that it needed staff with the relevant commercial skills and experience if it were to successfully 'interact' with the private sector.

A 2009 review by the Office of Government Commerce had previously found that 44% of the 'senior responsible owners' of major government projects did not have any substantial commercial experience.

NAO head Amyas Morse said: 'Commercial skills are essential to success in complex projects and a great deal of money rests on this; but there is still not a coherent system for providing skills across government or for using the existing skills as efficiently as possible. …

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