Survival Guide to Challenging Costs in Major Projects

Summary

The National Audit Office’s work shows that poor estimating and cost control on projects impacts on value for money. This can be on individual projects where it causes delays thus reducing benefits. More widely funds
can be diverted from other priorities, similarly delaying future investment in other important projects.

The NAO understand that Accounting Officers are well aware of their duties under Managing Public Money and have Accounting Officer’s Responsibilities training through Civil Service Learning. But they have many other concerns to consider and weigh up when making decisions about a project, and that in these circumstances it can be hard to spot the warning signs. This survival guide is based on observations from the work of the NAO on what can lead to actual and apparent cost growth.

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