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The Government’s management of its major projects


The Government’s Major Projects Portfolio (MPP) has 133 projects with a value of £423 billion, and these are only a fraction of the projects delivered by Government. Major projects are the main mechanism by which the government invests in infrastructure, transforms services, and improves IT. The MPP includes high-profile projects such as Crossrail, Gov UK Verify, and the 30 hours free childcare programme.  

There are many examples of costly project management failures across Government and the National Audit Office (NAO) highlighted the same issues afflicting multiple projects leading to cost and time overruns and failure to achieve benefits. In March 2019, a NAO report on Verify stated that it was an “example of many of the failings in major programmes that we often see, including optimism bias and failure to set clear objectives”.  

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee is holding an inquiry into how well such projects are managed by Government. The inquiry asks cross-cutting questions about how well the Government delivers projects, its ability to learn from mistakes, and the usefulness of published information for holding the Government to account.   

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