Brexit: UK impact

For a consideration of contracting strategies following Brexit, click the articles below:

To read more about the broader impacts of Brexit, please visit our dedicated Brexit centre by clicking here.

Infrastructure Project Initiation Routemap expanded

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has added two new modules to its Project Initiation Routemap, which helps project sponsors and clients improve the delivery of major infrastructure projects. The new modules cover:

Asset management, with a focus on securing best value for taxpayers and investors through the life of a project

Risk management, aimed at identifying and mitigating risks that may prevent a project from meeting its objectives

The routemap, which can be found here, forms part of the government's National Infrastructure Delivery Plan. The IPA plans to expand the routemap's scope to cover a wider range of major projects, with more construction projects being reviewed in this way.

National infrastructure assessment consultation

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has launched a consultation on its process and methodology for producing a national infrastructure assessment (NIA).

The NIC is required to produce an NIA once every Parliament, setting out how the UK should meet its long-term infrastructure needs. NIC recommendations that the government accepts will become government policy and will be known as "endorsed recommendations". The NIC will have a duty to report annually on the government's progress in delivering endorsed recommendations.

Launch of revised adjudication pilot scheme for professional negligence claims

The adjudication pilot scheme for professional negligence claims was originally launched in February 2015 with a narrow remit, applying to claims against solicitors with a value below £100,000. Following poor take up, the scheme has been relaunched, with the cap removed and the range of professionals to include all but medical professionals.

It is based on the statutory scheme for construction contracts, but differs in that the period for a decision has been extended to 56 days, and the parties may agree to allow the adjudicator to award parties' costs, as well as his own costs.

The scheme is voluntary, meaning both parties must agree in writing to use it. A pilot pack has been prepared which provides guidance on the scheme and has been endorsed by Mrs Justice Carr and Mr Justice Fraser of the TCC. Further details can be found here.

EPC: opt-out of public disclosure

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is widening access to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data for domestic properties and Display Energy Certificate (DEC) data by permitting access on a bulk basis to anyone wishing to access the data, subject to the terms of a copyright notice.

Data about the energy performance of buildings is valuable to researchers, local authorities and environmental organisations involved in delivering national climate change objectives. The government believes making data about the energy performance of buildings more readily available is therefore in the public interest. (Currently, EPC and DEC information is available on an individual basis by reference to a property address. Access to bulk data is only open to a limited number of users.)

Data will be released on a six monthly basis and it will be possible to opt-out of future data releases even though information held prior to any opting-out may already have been released.

Commons briefing paper on infrastructure policy

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on infrastructure policy, examining the government's approach to securing investment for UK infrastructure.

The briefing paper highlights an OECD estimate that developed countries need to invest 3.5% of GDP in infrastructure, whereas UK public sector investment will reach only 1.4% of GDP by 2020/21. The UK government plans to make up the shortfall through private investment, meaning that the private sector will provide 59% of infrastructure funding. The briefing paper identifies the means by which the government plans to achieve this, including:

  • The UK Guarantees scheme (UKGS), which provides government financial guarantees for money lent to fund infrastructure projects
  • Encouraging investment from pension funds through the Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PIP) (which seeks to help UK pension funds invest more in UK infrastructure assets) and British Wealth Funds (which will be formed by pooling local authority pension schemes)
  • The Green Investment Bank (GIB).

Events have since been overtaken by Brexit, so it seems likely that private investment may not materialise until the economic situation is more certain. A copy of the paper may be found here.

PAS 2080:2016 Carbon management in infrastructure

Following a report, the Infrastructure Carbon Review, published by the Treasury in November 2013, it was recognised that the value chain in infrastructure projects had the potential to contribute and cooperate in in developing low carbon infrastructure. The development of PAAS2080 is intended to realise this potential.

PAS 2080 provides a common framework for all infrastructure sectors and value chain members on how to manage whole life carbon when delivering infrastructure assets and programmes of work. Using PAS 2080 promotes reduced carbon, reduced cost infrastructure delivery, more collaborative ways of working and a culture of challenge in the infrastructure value chain through which innovation can be fostered.