Sunday, August 06, 2006
More On Spec Wobble
As we blogged here, one reason the public sector gets such poor value from its purchases is that it's hopeless at specifying its requirements upfront and sticking to them. So it's interesting to hear what George Ferguson (pictured), the past president of the Royal Institute of British Architects has to say about all those disastrous overrunning capital projects, like the Scottish Parliament and the new Wembley:
"The main reason you get these disasters is usually client changes or change of government. On any job that changes the specification, you have contractors rubbing their hands: you're on a path to disaster."
Of course, as Ferguson points out, both the new Arsenal stadium and the new Ascot stand came in on time and on budget. But then, both of them were built without public money and without the political wibbling that goes with it.
"The 2012 Olympics are going to be a great test."
You can say that again.
PS The picture shows George standing in front of Northampton Bus Station, visited on the town by the local Commissars in 1974. We don't know what it cost, but we do know it was one of the twelve publically voted finalists in the C4 series Demolition, along with the Scottish Parliament. Overall of the 12 finalists, 8 were built by the public sector. And yes yes, we do understand that George is conflicted re big public projects. Still interesting though.
Posted by Mike D at 5:07 pm