Project Compass director gives keynote address at RIAI Conference 2018

Project Compass director Russell Curtis has given a keynote address at the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) Annual Conference where he discussed the challenges of public procurement in the UK and how Project Compass is campaigning for reform to improve the dire situation experienced by most architects bidding for work in the public sector.

Russell provided a brief overview of the current state of public procurement of buildings, drawing on data from the RIBA “Building Ladders of Opportunity” report from 2014, together with some thoughts on whether failures in commissioning might have contributed to the Grenfell tragedy.

Continue reading “Project Compass director gives keynote address at RIAI Conference 2018”

Northern Ireland is now open to fixed fee tenders

In N. Ireland methodologies on the procurement of design, where lowest price is no longer the determining factor have now been agreed between the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD), the RSUA & the construction sector (announced Sept. 2018). This halts the race to the bottom.

Under the pilot all construction services contracts to be awarded by CPD, both above and below the EU threshold, will be awarded in one of the following ways:

  • Projects with no quality assessment at tender stage will be awarded based on the Mean Narrow Average calculation;
  • Projects with a quality and price assessment at tender stage will base the price score on the Mean Narrow Average calculation; or
  • Projects with a fixed fee tender will be awarded on the assessment of quality only.

The first CPD procurement using the Mean Narrow Average is currently at prequalification stage.

Mean Narrow Average

In a move to ensure value, the fundamental shift is that the best price will no longer be the lowest price but the price that is closest to an average.  The average that will be used is a ‘narrow average’. The lowest price and highest price are not part of the calculation to establish the ‘narrow average’.

Full details of the Mean Narrow Average calculation are available here.  Those interested in bidding for CPD projects are strongly advised to review this and ensure they fully understand it.

For all in construction, and design professionals in particular this is surely an extremely welcome and long overdue step.

But this is not the only one of the advances being made in the UK nations -N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales have all now also adopted Project Bank Accounts although from different threshold values.

Isn’t it now time for England to advance, reform and follow suite?

No Brexit deal – Accessing Procurement Notices

If there is no Brexit deal significant questions need answering about how all UK public contracts covering services, works and supplies, will be published, accessed, completed and remain transparent for public clients and commerce. Government announced on 13 September 2018 that if there is no deal a new UK e-notification replacement system will be made available on 29 March 2019, and notices will be published there, rather than in ‘The Official Journal of the European Union’ (OJEU) published online via Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) .  Continue reading “No Brexit deal – Accessing Procurement Notices”

25 May 2018, 7.00-8.30pm, Palazzo Widmann, Venice

Competition Culture in Europe will be gathering and launching the publication ‘Competition Culture in Europe: Voices’ on 25 May 2018, 7.00-8.30pm, Palazzo Widmann, Cannaregio, Venice (Calle Larga Widmann 30121 Venice).   The publication arises from the European call in December 2017 for essays on architectural competitions.

The detailed programme is below.

In 2017 the collaboration of Project Compass CIC, Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new European Architecture Cooperative  started the Competition Culture in Europe program. At the end of the first year 10 concrete quick wins for 2018 were formulated.

During the Biennale in Venice we have been invited by AIAC (the Association of Italian Architecture and Criticism)  to present the progress made so far. We are happy to present a follow-up on the 50 case studies we collected last year in a new publication ‘Competition Culture in Europe: Voices’ which will be launched at the event. This publication draws on experiences from architects and organisers undertaking competitions, with discourse on competitions, and a draft-dictionary of terms for improving the pan-European understanding of competition discourse.  Research on the Reinventer. Paris project will also be presented.

In Venice we will focus on experiences with competition culture throughout Europe, compare practices all over Europe, and work towards mapping and establishing some common ground in terminology. You are welcome to join us at Palazzo Widman, Cannareggio, Venice.

The program

7.00     Welcome by Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi (AIAC-Italy)

7.05     Introduction by Indira van ‘t Klooster (A10-NL-moderator)

7.10     Tarja Nurmi (Finland) – Competition Culture in Finland – The MONIO Community School and Culture Education Building competition, organized by the Municipality of Tuusula in Southern Finland

7.20     Anna Yudina (France) – Reinventer.Paris

7.30     Q&A with presenters and audience, exchange of experiences, also in Italian context with Zaira Magliozzi (AIAC-Italy)​

7.45     Walter Menteth (Project Compass-UK) – ‘Competition Culture in Europe: Voices’ book presentation

7.55     Cilly Jansen ​(Architectuur Lokaal-NL) ​- introduction to discussion on European vocabulary on Competition Culture

8.05     Debate on vocabulary, glossaries, practices, confusions, solutions, etc

8.30     Conclusions, next steps

​            Drinks

Hardcopies of the publication will be available at the launch and digital copies will be made available on the Project Compass website shortly after.

Please feel free to disseminate this invitation to any others who may be interested in joining us. We look forward to welcoming you.

RSVP to ProjectCompassCIC@gmail.com

The Competition Grid: Experimenting With & Within Architecture

 

hCompetition Grid. Experimenting With & Within Architecture CompetitionsThe Competition Grid: Experimenting With & Within Architecture Competitions   (Theodoru. M., Katsakou A. (eds) RIBA Publishing, 2018. Project Compass Director Walter Menteth has contributed Chapter 10, ‘E-Procurement Delivering Better Design Competitions’ in Part 3-‘Experimenting with Architectural Competitions’.  “This is an engaging and extensive review of architectural competitions. Merging the immediacy of practitioners’ competition experience and the rigorousness of scientific writing, each section features comprehensive research and lively discussion from an international set of experts.”   Available from RIBA Publishing.

Public Procurement Policy 2018 guide

A new and updated PUBLIC PROCUREMENT POLICY 2018 guide covering directives, regulations, policies and guidance relating to the procurement of services, supplies and works for the public sector was issued by Crown Commercial Services on March 26, 2018

The Aldous Retentions Protection Bill of 27 April 2018

The Aldous Retentions Protection Bill of 27 April 2018 is now being supported by more than 60 Trade Bodies. As notified by Project Compass previously it was first moved in Parliament in January.  Peter Aldous MP who is moving the bill said of this need for reform:

 “This coalition of support shows the urgent need for reform and unity of industry following Carillion. Support covers so much of the industry that we now have a golden opportunity to change construction for the better.

“I hope government gets behind industry and this Bill. We need action to protect SMEs before more millions are lost, and this Bill is about ensuring people’s money is safe so businesses can grow and invest in their future.”

Project Compass consider organisations representing construction design professionals should equally be adding their full support and leadership.  Yet they are notably absent from the 60 Trade Bodies reported to be currentlky supporting this Bill (see below).

Through a retentions deposit scheme this bill improves conditions in the construction industry. In construction contracts retentions withheld unduly are a significant concern for all including design professionals, whether they are withheld for excessive time or because a contractor goes bankrupt. It has an adverse impact on all particularly SME’s in the supply chain and a healthier construction industry is in the best interests of all.

Full text of a briefing paper prepared by the SEC Group,  November 2017 can be read on our post here

Project Compass invite you to write to your local MP to express your support for this Bill by 27th April (a template for you to do so is provided HERE), as well as writing to your professional organisation to seek their support.

Supporting Industry Organisations:

Apprenticeships 4 England (App4Eng)

Asbestos Control and Abatement Division (ACAD)

Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA)

Association of Brickwork Contractors

Association of Ductwork Contractors and Allied Services (ADCAS)

Association of Fencing Industries

Association of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS)

Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE)

Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC)

British Blind & Shutter Association

British Board of Agrément

British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA)

British Drilling Association (BDA)

British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA)

British Flue & Chimney Manufacturers Association (BFCMA)

British Property Federation

British Refrigeration Association (BRA)

British Woodworking Federation

Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF)

Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA)

Building Engineering Services Association (BESA)

Building Engineering Services Competent Assessment (BESCA)

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)

Confederation of Construction Specialists

Confederation of Roofing Contractors

Contract Flooring Association

Drilling and Sawing Association

Electrical Contractors Association (ECA)

Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland (SELECT)

Fan Manufacturers’ Association

Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA)

Federation of Master Builders (FMB)

Federation of Small Business (FSB)

Federation of Traditional Metal Roofing Contractors (FTMRC)

Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS)*

Fire & Security Association (FSA)

Glass & Glazing Federation

Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA)

Guild of Architectural Ironmongers

Heat Pump Association (HPA)

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Association (HEVAC)

House Builders Federation (HBF)

Institute of Clerks of Works of Great Britain

International Powered Access Federation (IPAF)

Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA)

Lead Contractors Association

Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)

Local Authority Building Control (LABC)

Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA)

National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC)

National Association of Shopfitters

National Federation of Builders

National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC)

National Federation of Roofing Contractors

Painting & Decorating Association

Process Innovation Forum (PIF)

Property Care Association

Roofing Industry Alliance

Scaffolding Association

Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF)

Specialist Engineering Contractor’s Group (SEC Group)

Stone Federation of Great Britain

Structural Timber Association

Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA)

New Study: the Cost of Competing

Project Compass has embarked on an ambitious research project to establish the cost to the profession of entering design competitions and tenders in the UK.

We are asking practices to contribute their experiences of completing PQQs, tenders and competitions in order to build up a picture of the total cost to the industry of winning public work.

If you are an architect which has bid for public work in the UK, we would very much welcome your contribution to the study. You can submit your experiences to the study using the link below.

Cost of Contests

Central Government Framework Agreements Survey

Framework SurveyFrameworks bedevil SME Design Professionals so please take this opportunity to complete this survey here on Government Framework Agreements to communicate your views and help formulate better policy for SME access & engagement, before the 31st of March deadline.

The survey results will be reported on Project Compass in due course.

The letter transcribed below sets out the purpose and objectives of the survey:

” The UK Government is committed to achieving a target that one pound in every three of public money spent annually on goods and services will be spent with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) by the end of the parliament.  One of the areas under consideration for improvement is Government Framework Agreements as they relate to SMEs.

By engaging with SMEs differently it is hoped that many more will take part in, and benefit from, new business either directly with government, or indirectly as sub-contractors to Prime Contractors.

The Frameworks Group working within the Cabinet Office SME Panel has been considering this matter and we are now conducting some independent research amongst SMEs to gather measurable information.  The results will inform our advice to the Crown Commercial Service, which is part of the Cabinet Office, about the future direction of this type of central government agreement.

If your company is an SME and has had experience of Framework Agreements whilst working with, or attempting to work with the UK Government or its Prime Contractors, we would be interested to hear your views.  If you have had no experience at all then please disregard this survey.

All contributions are anonymous and should be completed before 31st March 2018 in order for your data to be included in the results.

We have timed participation to less than ten minutes.  We greatly appreciate your help in this matter.

Please click here to participate in this independent study.

Many thanks and kind regards.

Jonathan Lewis

Chair, Frameworks Working Group, Cabinet Office SME Panel”

 

Procurement threshold values from 1 January 2018

Procurement threshold values from 1 January 2018 for Public Contracts are revised. These revisions are biannual and are showing an increase in the GBP values due to fluctuations in exchange rates over the previous two years. These are the new threshold values which now apply generally in construction under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Small Lots are more fully described in PCR 2015 6 (14) (15) but occur where a defined public procurement is defined as otherwise taking place but lots within it may be excluded.

Services & Supplies contracts

Works contracts

Central Government

£118,133

(up from £106,047)

€144,000

£4,551,413

(up from £4,104,394)

€5,548,000

Other Contracting Authorities

£181,302

(up from £164,176)

€221,000

£4,551,413

(up from £4,104,394)

€5,548,000

Small Lots

under PCR 2015 6 (14) (15)

£65,630

(up from £62,842)

€80,000

£820,370

(up from £785,530)

€1,000,000

(With the exception of service contracts under Directive 2014/24/EU Article 74. Article 13 and R & D services under Article 14)

Although these do not so frequently apply within the construction sector, for the thresholds under the Light Touch Regime, thresholds for Social and other specific Services, and thresholds under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016, Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, and the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 please refer to Procurement Policy Note PPN 04/17