PAC report into Falkland College (previously the Training Centre) project
STANLEY, FALKLANDS: The Public Accounts Committee published its report today into the planning and construction of the Falklands College. The report provides an analysis and evaluation of the building project which was completed in 2020.
The planning and construction of the Falkland College building was considered in terms of whether it represented value for money, particularly looking at the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the project. The review explored the management of the project and expenditure incurred focusing on the planning of the works, key decisions taken, tendering process, oversight of works and variations and additions to the project. The research included written evidence from a number of sources as well as interviews with key stakeholders.
The investigation concluded that there was a lack of clear vision for the project, thus the original cost estimates were unrealistic. In addition, it found that the project is not future proofed for expansion and whole life costings were not addressed in the build programme. The report suggests that there was significant ‘optimism bias’ when commissioned, a concerning feature of other projects. For confidence in economy and efficiency, it raises the need for simple measures of success of stated objectives for environmental infrastructure spending so that FIG can learn for future projects, the running costs being higher than predicted in this instance. Additionally, the report notes that resource constraints such as suitable workforce and availability of materials needs to be recognised to allow for realistic timescales and budgets. Finally, local context or local knowledge is important and appropriate use of it should be taken into account.
The major areas of weakness highlighted by this report require further action by FIG management and recommendations have been made to the Legislative Assembly to address the PAC’s concerns.
Speaking at the launch of the Report, the PAC’s Chair Mr Andrew Newman said:
“There are lessons to be learned from both the good and the not so good aspects of capital spend, we hope to highlight issues which are of concern to the public in the spend of taxpayers money. The government can choose to make improvements in future projects as a result of these successes or failures. The PAC has a clear remit to help provide sound governance and oversight for the people of the Falkland Islands.”
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is appointed under the Constitution to: “Examine and report on all public accounts and audit reports that are required to be laid before the Legislative Assembly and shall have such other functions, and shall operate under such procedures as may be prescribed by or under an Ordinance”.