The government's management of the ambitious Thames Gateway development project has been roundly criticised by MPs.
The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) says the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is "only just starting" to put in place the mechanisms for organising the project.
It warns action must be taken immediately to stop the Thames Gateway becoming a "public spending calamity".
The Thames Gateway development is planned to stretch for 40 miles from Canary Wharf to the mouth of the Thames, bringing 160,000 new homes and 180,000 new jobs to Essex and Kent by 2016.
The DCLG has rejected the report, insisting it does not recognise many of the recommendations and accusing PAC of working from out-of-date information.
Following the publication of today's report, Edward Leigh, PAC chairman, said:
"The DCLG is at present manifestly not up to the job of managing the enormously ambitious enterprise of regenerating the Thames Gateway region.
"It still amounts to little more than a group of disjointed projects which do not add up to a programme which is purposeful and moving forward.
"The department has been incapable of taking the present rather insubstantial vision and galvanizing the multitude of central, regional and local partners in the scheme to work together to turn it into reality."
Mr Leigh said it was "incredible" the DCLG has not yet set a budget for the project, with the final cost to the taxpayer still unclear.
He questioned the DCLG's ability to lead other Whitehall departments in cross-government efforts.
"Like a small child clamouring for the attention of its bigger classmates, the department does not have the influence to make this happen," Mr Leigh said.
PAC has challenged the government to produce a properly costed implementation plan and a coordinated marketing campaign aimed at potential investors, employers and residents in the region.
The DCLG rejected the report and insisted the project is on course to meet or exceed all targets.
A department spokesperson said it was "baffling" PAC would propose handing over the Gateway to the Homes and Community Agency when this will not exist for another two years.
They pointed to major progress over the past 12 months, including opening two international stations on High Speed Rail Links, the agreement for Crossrail - bringing benefits to Canary Wharf and Woolwich - and major progress on the Olympic site and Stratford.
"These alongside the new port at London Gateway are the very projects that the Thames Gateway partners identified as the major drivers for regeneration and investment," they said.
The Conservatives, nevertheless, seized on the report and said the government has no vision for the Thames Gateway.
Shadow local government minister Alistair Burt said: "It is a stunning denunciation of everything project management is supposed to be about. Labour has no vision, no plan, and clearly no control over this project."
The Liberal Democrats agreed PAC had been right to condemn the government's "woeful handling" of the project.
Lib Dem London spokesman Tom Brake said: "Ministers have broken all the basic project management rules: they do not know how much it will cost, whether it represents value for money or who is responsible for what."