03/06/2009 - 09:22

PPPs, works reforms to save $280m

03/06/2009 - 09:22

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The state government expects to save $280 million over four years from reforms to the capital works program including enhancing the use of public-private partnerships and moving thousands of public sector workers out of the city's government buildings.

PPPs, works reforms to save $280m

The state government expects to save $280 million over four years from reforms to the capital works program including enhancing the use of public-private partnerships and moving thousands of public sector workers out of the city's government buildings.

Treasurer Troy Buswell this morning outlined initiatives in the 'Works Reform Business Solution Plan', which include an overhaul of government office accommodation and the use of innovative procurement methods including public-private partnerships.

Mr Buswell said the state government, through Cabinet, has supported this reform agenda.

"We intend to take a far more strategic approach to asset planning and to business case development, and a much stronger hands-on role in project managing," he said.

"Fundametal to that reform is our capacity to engage with the private sector in the provision of public social and public economic infrastructure."

Mr Buswell also hopes to move a significant number of the 30,000 office based workstations for its public sector workers that are based in the central business district to outer areas of Perth.

Specific components of the plan include:

- Better Planning - Described by Mr Buswell as a "fundamental building block to a sound set of planning outcomes", government agencies will be required to provide a 10-year strategic asset plan on an annual basis to the Department of Treasury and Finance.

- New Forms of Procurement - Mr Buswell said the government will be moving away from its traditional 'construct only' approach that has been used almost exclusively in the past for the delivery of government buildings and will seek to enhace the use of PPP's.

- Building Standards and Design Practice - With the appointment of Steve Woodland as government architect, there will be a greater focus and emphasis around design statndards.

- Risk Management - Mr Buswell emphasised the need to effectively manage projects across the entire asset investment program via an enhancement to the Office of Strategic Projects.

Strategic Projects will continue to oversee existing major projects such as the Perth Arena and Fiona Stanley hospital and also look after what are determined to be "high risk" projects to government, such as the new childrens hospital and new prisons and sports facilitites.

- Improve the Management of the Existing Portfolio of Government Buildings - Improving the maintenace of the 4000 government buildings in WA via a whole of government apporach to the planning of building maintenance.

- Government Office Accommodation - Mr Buswell said the government is developing a much more strategic approach to how government staff are accommodated in government offices.

"There are effectively 30,000 office based workstations in the WA public sector workforce," he said.

"Two thirds of those are currently located in the Perth CBD.

"Previous approaches to office accommodation was...fragemented, fragmented not only in relation to approaches to leases but also approaches to office fit outs.

"My desire is to explore the options to move, where appropriate, government workers out of the CBD into other suitable locations.

"I'm not talking about a mass exodus of public sector workers out of the CBD, but we're talking a structured approach to deliver better value for money for the taxpayer and potentially improved work environments for staff."

Mr Buswell said better management could result in capital works projects being 10 per cent cheaper.

He said the reforms would put an end to massive blow outs in projects seen under the previous Labor government.

"We need to make sure existing buildings are maintained and that new projects are delivered on time and on budget."

"Our works reform plan is just one of the changes we are making to protect the State's finances and prepare Western Australia to capture the benefits of the next economic upswing."

The plan is expected to cost $60 million over four years.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

Six months after initiating an overhaul of the construction and management of State Government buildings, Treasurer Troy Buswell has released reforms to guide the State's works program over the next four years.

Mr Buswell said initiatives outlined in the 'Works Reform Business Solution Plan' included an overhaul of Government office accommodation and the use of innovative procurement methods such as public-private partnerships.

He said the reforms would put an end to massive blow outs in projects seen under the previous Labor government.

"The Government has more than 4,000 individual buildings across the State such as schools, hospitals and police stations," the Treasurer said.

"We need to make sure existing buildings are maintained and that new projects are delivered on time and on budget.

"Our works reform plan is just one of the changes we are making to protect the State's finances and prepare Western Australia to capture the benefits of the next economic upswing."

In December, the Government moved the Works portfolio into the Department of Treasury and Finance to draw together expertise on infrastructure planning, budgeting, project management and procurement.

"The works reform program will cost about $60million over four years but is expected to generate about $280million in savings over the same timeframe," Mr Buswell said.

"Capital works projects could be up to 10 per cent cheaper if we simply improve our management and by using innovative approaches like public private partnerships.

"Better management of office fit outs and moving public servants out of the CBD could also deliver significant savings."

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