A framework for assessing social policy inclusion proposals

Anon. (2009) A framework for assessing social policy inclusion proposals. [Report]


This document outlines a framework that could be used by government agencies in assessing policy interventions aimed at achieving social outcomes from government construction contracts. The framework represents a rational interpretation of the information gathered during the multi-outcomes construction policies project. The multi-outcomes project focused on the costs and benefits of using public construction contracts to promote the achievement of training and employment and public art objectives. The origin of the policy framework in a cost-benefit appraisal of current policy interventions is evidenced by its emphasis on sensitivity to policy commitment and project circumstances (especially project size and scope).The quantitative and qualitative analysis conducted in the multi-outcomes project highlighted, first, that in the absence of strong industry commitment to policy objectives, policy interventions typically result in high levels of avoidance activity, substantial administrative costs and very few benefits. Thus, for policy action on, for example, training or local employment to be successful compliance issues must be adequately addressed. Currently it appears that pre-qualification schemes (similar to the Priority Access Scheme) and schemes that rely on measuring, for example, the training investments of contractors within particular projects do not achieve high levels of compliance and involve significant administrative costs. Thus, an alternative is suggested in the policy framework developed here: a levy on each public construction project – set as a proportion of the total project costs. Although a full evaluation of this policy alternative was beyond the scope of the multi-outcomes construction policies project, it appears to offer the potential to minimize the transaction costs on contractors whilst enabling the creation of a training agency dedicated to improving the supply of skilled construction labour. A recommendation is thus made that this policy alternative be fully researched and evaluated. As noted above, the outcomes of the multi-outcomes research project also highlighted the need for sensitivity to project circumstances in the development and implementation of polices for public construction projects. Ideally a policy framework would have the flexibility to respond to circumstances where contractors share a commitment to the policy objectives and are able to identify measurable social outcomes from the particular government projects they are involved in. This would involve a project-by-project negotiation of goals and performance measures. It is likely to only be practical for large, longer term projects.

Additional Information

Item Type: Report
Collection: CRC for Construction Innovation
Keywords: CRC for Construction Innovation; Program A : Business and Industry Development; Project 2006-036-A : Multi-Outcome Construction Policies
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 03:13
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 03:19
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URI: http://digitalcollections.qut.edu.au/id/eprint/1674
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