6 SEP 2018
Canada needs high performing infrastructure as an enabler for growth, prosperity and the well-being of its citizens.
That this is understood to be a priority by the federal government is evident in the $180 billion promised for infrastructure over 10-years by Ottawa. However, the promised funding has yet to produce results, as reported in the Globe and Mail. Several reports suggest concern with delays and transparency regarding the infrastructure plan.
The regeneration of Canada’s infrastructure is a partnership between the federal and provincial governments who prioritize the spending but the partnerships with several provinces are not yielding results.
Keeping political undercurrents aside, there is an issue with provisioning of accurate and timely project information to policy makers and government decision makers. Lack of project progress and cashflow data is causing distrust amongst key stakeholders in the infrastructure delivery value chain.
Some of this distrust stems from the absence of international standards in project management and commercial management of infrastructure projects. Without a standard language between provinces and projects, the governments are unable to ensure benchmarks are being met and best practices are being followed. Definitions and common practices differ across the country muddying contracts where they should be transparent. Data is not collected in a standard, consistent and comparable form.
Standards that yield efficient project selection, project delivery, project control, reduction in operating costs, usable benchmarks and enhance asset performance must be adopted. To yield best results, the governments should insist International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) are followed. Following the international standard is the first step in creating a seamless, global, pyramidal hierarchy of construction cost classification: from high-level global cost benchmarking to granular, local cost measurement.
ICMS was developed by a coalition of 46 professional bodies including RICS, CIQS and CACQS to harmonize global cost reporting across markets, regions and sectors. By insisting partners and contractors adopt these transparent standards, the Canadian government can better monitor whether projects proceed according to its plan.
RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the valuation, development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards - bringing confidence to markets and effecting positive change in the built and natural environments.