Highways Agency

Highways Agency

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The Highways Agency's letting and management of maintenance contracts, known as 'Managing Agent Contractor' (MAC) largely follows best practice and offers the potential to secure value for money. Since its introduction, there has been greater certainty over delivery of maintenance schemes within budgets and to timescales. Journey time reliability on the strategic road network has steadily improved since summer 2007 suggesting that Agency interventions have contributed to the improvement. But the Agency lacks basic facts about what it gets in return for taxpayers' money and by how much the costs of some items such as road resurfacing have increased. It has failed to exploit cost information to benchmark prices and drive efficiency improvements, and has lacked the quantity surveying and commercial skills required to manage the contracts effectively. There is a risk that the Agency is too reliant on the procurement stage to deliver performance improvements rather than through the proactive management of contractors during the term of the contract. The Agency's principal value for money objective is to minimise the whole life cost of maintaining the network. Yet only 20 per cent by value of the schemes entering the Agency's renewals programme are subjected to formal whole life cost appraisal and, even where whole life costing is used, it does not appear to drive programme design. Safety at road works for both road users and road workers has not changed much in recent years and there is concern that the latest year for which statistics on road worker injuries were available was 2006.Contracting for Highways Maintenance; Fourth Report of Session 2009-10; Report, Together with Formal Minutes and Oral ... it a contractual requirement for contractors to break down the costs by each activity.4 The Agency acknowledged that it ... The Committee were concerned by the wide variations between Highways Agency Areas in the unit costs of particular ... Ap63-Ap101 per tonne ( September 2008 prices).6 The Agency said that some differences can be explained, for exampleanbsp;...

Title:Highways Agency
Author: Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2010-01-01

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