The findings of a National Audit Office study, and a subsequent independent review by Mike Nichols made uncomfortable reading for the Highways Agency’s management team: serious deficiencies were identified in cost-estimating, supplier contracting, supplier management, cost management, and accountabilities. A confusing overlap of responsibilities between the Agency and the Department for Transport was also highlighted.

Two key themes of Governance and Capability were identified for the project;  Academy was asked to help set up a new Programme Office for the division, and to advise the project director on organisation and best practice in order to meet challenging deadlines for establishing the new organisation.
Over a period of eight months Academy played a major role in steering the project team towards a successful outcome. During this time a new Commercial Awareness department was created, new contracts were put in place, a new process for estimating was established giving the Agency far greater control over future costs, and a clearer governance process was established with clear mandates for HA and the DfT.

The first major project to be created under the new organisation passed its Gate 0 review at the first attempt – the first time this had ever occurred in the Agency’s history.

Lead Consultant: Sue Vowler
Managing Partner: Will Stevens