Governance, Risk and Best Value Committee seeks answers on Water of Leith project delays

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Governance, Risk and Best Value (GRBV) Committee has asserted its commitment to providing robust scrutiny of the ongoing Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme.

The first phase of the scheme is now largely complete, and project management arrangements have been put in place for the second phase, with processes agreed to avoid previous oversights. These include the formation of a Strategic Project Board to oversee the management of the project and the initiation of weekly control meetings to ensure all matters are dealt with quickly and correctly.

A report detailing governance arrangements, which was presented to the Transport and Environment Committee in January, ensured lessons had been learned, and that these would be taken forward to future phases.

In addition to this, reports on the governance of the project have been brought to the GRBV Committee for further scrutiny. The latest paperon the management of the project was heard by the committee on January 30, and a number of questions arising will be considered by the committee in private on 3 April.

Amongst the details requested by the committee are a breakdown of costs and key reasons for the delay and increased costs of the project.

The Governance, Risk and Best Value committee was established in November 2012 and given a strengthened and wider remit in relation to both financial and operational scrutiny than its predecessor, the Audit Committee. 

In line with Audit Scotland guidance, it is chaired by a member of the opposition, Cllr Jeremy Balfour.

He said: “The Governance, Risk and Best Value Committee will play a vital part in ensuring the next phases of the Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme are delivered on time and in line with project plans.

“It is our priority to make sure lessons have been learned from the first phase of the project, and that these are acted upon. We will exert vigorous scrutiny over the ongoing governance of the project.

“By providing an independent oversight of the scheme, we want to reassure all residents affected that we are doing everything we can to keep it on track.”

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