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Government names its first Chief Construction Adviser

Released on 24/11/2009

Paul Morrell OBE has been appointed to the new role of Government Chief Construction Adviser, Construction Minister Ian Lucas and Economic Secretary to the Treasury Ian Pearson jointly announced today.

The CCA role will work with Government and the industry to act as a link between the two and ensure Britain's construction sector is equipped with the knowledge, skills and best practice to make the most of the opportunities which the 21st century will offer.

Previously senior partner of construction consultants Davis Langdon, and also former deputy chair of CABE, Paul Morrell brings extensive experience across both the public and private sectors to this broad role.

As CCA, Mr Morrell will lead the Construction Innovation and Growth Team. His first task will be to lead the Low Carbon Construction Review, announced by Lord Mandelson on 18 September and due to report its initial findings in spring 2010. This is part of the challenge to bring the industry together to identify how best to deliver the 2022 carbon reduction commitments, to meet the broader challenges of the low carbon future, and to capture the many new opportunities it will bring.

Construction Minister Ian Lucas said:

"The Chief Construction Adviser will play a vital role in championing the sector with Government and work with industry to ensure we have a strong, sustainable construction sector in the UK. With broad experience across sectors including commercial, health, residential, arts and transport construction, Paul Morrell is well placed to support the industry to take advantage of the growth opportunities offered by the 21st century."

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Ian Pearson said:

"Gaining a champion from industry with the skills of Paul Morrell underlines the Government's commitment in delivering its Operational Efficiency Programme. Paul will work closely with OGC in ensuring public sector clients optimize value from their construction projects and I welcome his appointment as Chief Construction Adviser."

Chief Construction Adviser Paul Morrell said:

"I am delighted and excited to have been selected for this role, which presents a real opportunity for the sector to work with Government, and to prepare for the skills, growth and other challenges facing the construction industry.

"This is a tough time for the industry, but now is the right time to work together and I know we have the capability to rise to two of our biggest challenges: to get more value out of our product, and to take more carbon out of its creation and use - getting more for less in both cases. The potential for a well designed and well made built environment to lead economic, social and environmental betterment remains enormous, and the challenges are matched by opportunities, both here and abroad."

The CCA is an independent role, but will report jointly to BIS and HM Treasury Ministers.   The remit of the role includes:-

  • Chairing a new Construction Collaborative Category Board, which will build on the existing Public Sector Construction Clients Forum (PSCCF), to drive the implementation and further development of best value Government construction procurement.  
  • Chairing an enhanced sustainable construction strategy delivery board to help ensure policy regarding the industry is effectively co-ordinated.
  • Assessing the key barriers to growth in the UK’s Low Carbon construction sector to ensure the UK industry is well placed to serve developing needs and markets.
  • Working with the industry, through the Strategic Forum for Construction, to deliver the industry improvement agenda, including the Construction Commitments.
  • Promoting innovation in the sector, working closely with the  Technology Strategy Board and other funding bodies.
  • Co-ordinating the Whitehall response to reports featuring construction.

Notes to editors

1) The Chief Construction Adviser will chair the Board responsible for securing value for money from the government’s procurement of construction, promote innovation and sustainability in the industry, and be responsible for ensuring government takes full account of the impacts of the regulatory regime on the construction industry.
2) Paul Morrell, Brief Biography:

  • Mr Morrell was appointed as a partner to joined Davis Langdon from University in 1971.  He has worked there since, moving up to becoming a Partner in 1976, Senior Partner in 1999 and then became a consultant to the firm from 2007 to present until resigning to take up this post.
  • He is a Fellow of the RICS, an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA, and served as a Commissioner on CABE from to 2000 to 2008, finishing as Deputy Chairman. 
  • He was a founder member of the British Council for Offices, and served as President in 2004/5. 
  • He has worked on a wide range of projects including:
    - The ITN Headquarters Building, for Stanhope Properties
    - TAG McLaren Headquarters
    - Headquarters and Distribution Centre, Theale, for Porsche Cars Great  Britain
    - Industrial Park for British Gas
    - 125 Old Broad Street, for Hammerson UK Properties
    - Projects at Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith
    - Public Housing projects for the former GLC, the London Boroughs of Camden and Wandsworth, and Milton Keynes Development Corporation
    - Underground line extension for London Underground Limited
    - The Dome Leisure Centre, Doncaster, for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
    - Tate Gallery Modern, Bankside
    - Joslyn Art Museum Omaha, Nebraska
    - Canary Wharf station for London Underground Limited
  • Mr Morrell also is a regular columnist and industry conference speaker, in the UK and overseas, on construction economics, the value of good design, procurement, and the structure and practice of the construction industry.
  • He received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Construction Industry at the 2007 Building Awards; received the President's Award from the British Council for Offices in the same year; and was awarded an OBE for services to architecture and the built environment in the 2008 New Year Honours list.
  • Away from the office, enthusiasms include sailing, theatre, opera and contemporary dance. Mr Morrell is on the Board of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and chairs the Siobhan Davies Dance Company.

About OGC

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is an independent office of HM Treasury, established to help Government deliver best value from its spending.  The OGC works with central Government departments and other public sector organisations to ensure the achievement of six key goals:

  • Delivery of value for money from third party spend; 
  • Delivery of projects to time, quality and cost, realising benefits; 
  • Getting the best from the Government's £30bn estate; 
  • Improving the sustainability of the Government estate and operations, including reducing carbon emissions by 12.5% by 2010-11, through stronger performance management and guidance; 
  • Helping achieve delivery of further Government policy goals, including innovation, equality, and support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); 
  • And driving forward the improvement of central Government capability in procurement, project and programme management, and estates management through the development of people skills, processes and tools.

OGC provides policy standards and guidance on best practice in procurement, projects and estate management, and monitors and challenges departments' performance against these standards, grounded in an evidence base of information and assurance.  It promotes and fosters collaborative procurement across the public sector to deliver better value for money and better public services; and it provides innovative ways to develop Government's commercial and procurement capability, including leadership of the Government Procurement Service.

Media contact:
Michael Dunning, Media Relations Manager, OGC
T: 020 7271 1318
M: 07771 815245

Contact details:
OGC Service Desk
Tel: 0845 000 4999