This is a report issues by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee which has called for significant changes in the individual accountability for major projects.
Recommendation number 6 reads – Accountability for the delivery of major projects and programmes must be clear so those responsible for delivery can be held to account.
There are weaknesses in personal responsibility and accountability for major projects due to the high turnover and lack of central oversight of Senior Responsible Owners. Government acknowledges that there is a shortage in project management expertise. This dilutes control over major projects, has led to cost overruns and delays and further weakens accountability to Parliament. The Cabinet Office is updating its current approach to enhancing project management expertise. At a project level, Senior Responsible Owners should be held accountable for delivering projects within an agreed budget and timeframe and should have authority to direct those involved in delivering the project. For all major projects and programmes, the Accounting Officer should nominate a Senior Responsible Owner who is accountable to Parliament alongside the departmental Accounting Officer. Steps should be taken to reduce the present turnover of staff, which undermines efficiency and effectiveness and makes a nonsense of personal responsibility and accountability.