Most major projects given ‘amber’ rating

18 Jul 17

Most major government projects are rated ‘amber’ in terms of delivery risk, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s annual report has shown.

The Ministry of Defence, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Transport together accounted for 75% of the whole-life cost of the portfolio, with the DBEIS share being largely comprised of nuclear decommissioning work.

In all there were 143 major projects together worth £455.5bn and spread across 17 government departments, comprising 40 in government transformation and eService delivery (£71.1bn), 39 in information technology (£18.6bn), 37 in infrastructure (£222.5bn) and 27 in military capability (£143.3bn).

The report said more than 60% of projects by whole life cost were likely to be successfully delivered and that in the past year the number of projects at risk had reduced from 44 to 38.

IPA chief executive Tony Meggs said: “We know that success or failure of a project is often determined in its earliest phases. That is why the IPA is focusing its efforts on engaging and supporting specific projects in the early stages of their development.”

Measures to reduce turnover among project leaders had shown some success, with the average for senior responsible project owners and programme directors at 8%, down from a previous 11%.

“If this trend continues, it will mean leaders spend longer – around three to three-and-a-half years on average – in post on projects,” the report said.

The IPA uses a ’traffic light’ system for its delivery of confidence assessments of a project’s likelihood of achieving its aims and objectives on time and budget.

Of the 143 projects, five were rated ‘green’ – the least risky category – and four ‘red’, the worst.

There were 34 judged ‘amber red’ and 23 ‘amber green’, with 71 put at ‘amber’ and five exempt from the assessment.

Government transformation service delivery

Red 1

Amber red 11

Amber 23

Amber green 5

Green 0


Information technology

Red 0

Amber red 9

Amber 17

Amber green 8

Green 2

Exempt 2

Reset 1



Red 2

Amber red 8

Amber 16

Amber green 7

Green 3

Exempt 1



Red 1

Amber red 6

Amber 15

Amber green 3

Green 0

Exempt 2


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