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Last edited 04 Nov 2020
Achieving Excellence (AE) was a government initiative launched in March 1999 by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) following a series of cost and time overruns on high-profile construction projects. It was intended to improve the performance of government departments, as well as their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.
OGC stated, 'Through the Achieving Excellence intitative, central government clients commit to maximise by continuous improvement, the efficiency, effectiveness and value for money of their procurement of new works, maintenance and refurbishment.'
Achieving Excellence set out a route map for government to follow when acting as a construction client to achieve better whole-life value. The guidance was based on the principles of delivering value for money and selecting the ‘…optimum combination of whole-life cost and quality to meet the user's requirement’ rather than simply the lowest cost option.
- Greater use of partnering.
- The development of long-term relationships.
- Slimming down decision-making chains.
- Increased training.
- The use of performance indicators.
- The use of integrated procurement routes.
- The use of value management, risk management and whole-life cost tools.
A suite of guidance was produced by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) describing in detail the OGC's preferred procurement routes and supplemented in June 2000 by ‘Achieving Sustainability in Construction Procurement’, a the three-year action plan for sustainable development.
High level guides:
- Achieving Excellence Guide 1 - Initiative into Action.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 2 - Project Organisation.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 3 - Project Procurement Lifecycle.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 4 - Risk and Value Management.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 5 - The Integrated Project Team.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 6 - Procurement and Contract Strategies
- Achieving Excellence Guide 7 - Whole-Life costing.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 8 - Improving Performance.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 9 - Design Quality.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 10 - Through Health and Safety.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 11 - Sustainability.
- Making competition work for you
- Guide to Best 'Fair Payment' Practices
- Achieving Excellence Action Plan
- Achieving Sustainability in Construction Procurement
Following the credit crunch in 2007, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) was absorbed into the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) within the Cabinet Office in 2010 (ref gov.uk), and all of its guidance was archived. The Achieving Excellence guidance is no longer updated, however it remains available in the national archive, it is cited in the Government Construction Strategy and in the Common Minimum Standards and links are still provided from government websites such as the Major Projects Authority. The OGC gateway review process still provides one of the best and most comprehensive sets of guidance for public projects.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Common minimum standards.
- Construction 2025.
- Government construction strategy.
- OGC gateway review process.
 External references
- Gov.uk, Whitehall shake-up in drive for efficiency, 15 June 2010.
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