Agenda item

COVID Update

Town Clerk to be heard.

Minutes:

A COVID update was delivered by the Head of the Project Management Office and the following points were made.

 

·         In terms of Built Environment projects, Riney had conducted a risk assessment for socially distanced working arrangements. The City had reallocated monies towards transportation projects that aimed to mitigate COVID-related issues. A potential longer-term implication of COVID was whether there would be a reduction in the level of s278/s106 funded projects being brought forward.

 

·         Barbican…

 

·         City of London Police projects had been affected by the delay in securing project supplies from Asia.

 

·         A portfolio overview report would be provided to Members in June 2020.

 

·         In response to a question, the Head of the Projects Management Office noted that RAG reporting of projects would be twin track, encompassing both ordinary project risk that lay within the City’s control, and COVID-related project risk. The Head of the PMO undertook to brief Members on the value of affected projects outside of the meeting.

 

The Assistant Director of Property Projects Group delivered a further COVID update and the following points were made.

 

·         Nationally, 80% of major construction projects had resumed up to 75% of capacity. That percentage of major projects was reduced to 60% in the City due to unique challenges around logistics.

 

·         The City would spend the next six weeks assessing the impact of COVID on each of its contractors.

 

·         All contractors were now on site on the City’s major projects. They were facing some industry-wide challenges, such as whether COVID should be considered force majeure or not. Five separate drafts of site guidelines in recent weeks had also led to some confusion. Some contractors had been forced into making redundancies, and supply shortages were being experienced.

 

·         The City was analysing COVID impact across three main phases: (1) the period 23 March – 11 May (2) period 11 May – August 2020 and (3) where relevant, period August 2020 until the scheduled end of the project.

 

·         The City was utilising existing frameworks on its projects and was conducting assessments on each new contract to ensure the contractor had adequate resources to deliver on their obligations during the COVID period.

 

·         Mitigation measures undertaken by the City included reviewing site photos and CCTV to establish project progress, and reviewing supply and payments end-to-end to ensure contractors were receiving payment.

 

·         In response to a request, the Assistant Director agreed to provide Members with the City’s financial analysis of projects affected by COVID.

 

·         A Member expressed concern that the City was not requiring all contractors to possess a performance bond and/or parent company guarantee. The Assistant Director agreed to review this position and report back to Members with, if necessary, a justification of this current position.