Total Cost of the project has to take into account the following:-
1. Cost of Design
2.Cost of Construction
3. Cost of Supervision.
When any ministry (other than Works) tries to handle the project on their own, then they have to bear the consultant cost for the Design & Supervision Cost in addition to the Construction Cost.
Most of the time when the consultants design, they try to escalate the cost of construction because, their fee is based on the actual construction cost. There are times when the consultants try to impress by creating a low tender cost (as compared to JKR's Design) but finally the client end up paying more because variations come up as the project progresses due to incomplete design( then again additional fees to the consultant for design and supervision because of the extension of time that need to be given to the contractor)
Client tend to compare only the initial tender cost with JKR's tender cost- which may be lower, but not the final cost they have to bear to complete the job.
On the other hand, if JKR handles the project, the design generally has better specifications & standards and I believe that the design is more complete. There is no extra supervision cost (if directly supervised by JKR's staff) - then again leading to a lower total construction cost (items 1,2 & 3 above). If design is done in house- then there is no design cost- leading to an even lower total project cost.
I believe that JKR can prove it to the client that we are better & gain back their trust by providing a project team for each large project (so that the project is better managed). JKR's workforce should be more assigned to do the actual job than just to monitor (maybe we are having too many people monitoring than actually doing the job) - too many captains with only few rowers.
Then again JKR should concentrate and do the core business well - being technical expertise ourselves - being the largest consultant to the government. When we loose this expertise, every ministry wants to do projects themselves and employ consultants to help them design & supervise