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 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.
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:
Heat Pump Association (HPA)
Process Innovation Forum (PIF)
Specialist Engineering Contractor’s Group (SEC Group)
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.
Frameworks 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.
Chair, Frameworks Working Group, Cabinet Office SME Panel”
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
(up from £106,047)
(up from £4,104,394)
|Other Contracting Authorities||
(up from £164,176)
(up from £4,104,394)
under PCR 2015 6 (14) (15)
(up from £62,842)
(up from £785,530)
(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
Short illustrated articles on your experiences of architectural competitions in Europe are invited for the Venice Biennale 2018.
This Open Call is part of a project that aims to improve architectural competitions and design contests by appraising comparative performances, procedures and outputs across Europe to identify issues and best practices, for their improvement and reform. It is part of the joint European programme on Competition Culture in Europe by Project Compass, Architectuur Lokaal and A10 New Architecture Co-operative to be presented in the Italian pavilion, Palazzo Widmann at Venice Biennale in May 2018. Outputs will also be available across Europe on thefulcrum.eu.
To submit please let us know, by writing to ProjectCompassCIC@gmail.com
- 400 -1000 words
- Not including the basic details set out below and any references.
- Min. 2 – Max 6 images. Plans & sections are particularly welcome. Please ensure and confirm the images are licenced creative commons use.
- Experiences collected from architects who have won Design Contests* abroad, to better understand the conditions that apply after a specific competition win in another country, including the benefits and obstacles.
- Critical reflection by architects on substantive competition issues including their practices and outputs. For example architects are still consciously and frequently participating in bad competitions, it is not self-evident that jurors read the rules first and clients are failing to honour results.
- Collecting data that contributes to misunderstandings and preconceptions in competition culture, including the commonly held beliefs that all problems arise from regulations.
- Collecting data into how, in each country, European, national and local laws and regulations are arranged, weighted and customised in competitions so as to provide insights on the benefits and disadvantages of the varied national applications.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION – SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION DETAILS AVAILABLE HERE We look forward to receipt of your submission(s) to this Open Call for the Venice Biennale 2018
The Project Compass Newsletter December 2017 highlights some of our activities over the past 18 months, the publications that have been output, a procurement trends report and our anticipated future activities.
Information on our exciting programme and the range of new activities we plan may be of particular interest to all our supporters and site users. We welcome your participation, collaboration and engagement in some, or any of these, and particularly any contributions towards the Venice Biennale 2018 works. Submission information on this will be made available shortly.
Other activities of interest include the development of more and better engagement in educational modules and our Guerrilla Competitions programme.
As an organisation promoting open access and engagement we always remain open to advancing projects that may be brought forward to us by others, so long as they lie within our Community Interest Company remit. If you have any projects, programmes or ideas which you individually wish to advance, please talk to us or email us at projectcompaccCIC@gmail.com
Peter Aldous MP will introduced a Parliamentary Bill on 9 Jan. 2018 to protect cash retentions in a retention deposit scheme (similar to a tenancy deposit scheme). Project Compass invite you to write to your local MP to express your support for this.
This is an important initiative being promoted by the Specialist Engineering Contractors Group (SEC) Group and their full briefing paper is published below.
Retentions withheld unduly in construction contracts are a significant concern for all in the construction industry including design professionals, whether they are withheld for excessive time or because a contractor goes bankrupt. It has an adverse impact on all and particularly SME’s in the supply chain.
This Parliamentary Bill aims to secure much needed reform. We hope you will help to advocate this change by writing to your MP in support. A letter template for your use is also provided HERE.
FULL TEXT OF THE BRIEFING PAPER PREPARED BY SEC GROUP. November 2017
Continue reading “Peter Aldous MP’s Jan. 2018 Bill to protect retentions”
Dear Len Duvall
Re: Reporting oversight on the Garden Bridge
Regarding the GLA Oversight Committee meeting of 11 October 2017 on the Garden Bridge we are writing to ask your committee to consider moving to clarify a relevant issue that is raised.
This relates to how design propositions that benefit the public estate can be brought forward by London’s design community in future. We believe this will release enormous untapped potential to identify opportunities and deliver growth.
The endeavours of UK design professionals to support a project from inception are often ignored, and the knowledge lost as any scheme adopted for public implementation will then be put out to competitive tender. There is now therefore little motivation for design professionals to initiate and nurture projects from inception as almost inevitably the original designers will be preclude as the established competitive processes are highly restrictive.
This effectively locks out many of those who would be particularly well placed to support ‘bottom up’ endeavours, whether for example through the engagement of design professionals with their communities or by creating imaginative and valuable design ideas contributing to the city’s wider needs, vitality and wellbeing.
The Public Contract Regulations (PCR) 2015 provide seven procurement routes but the ‘Restricted Procedure’ predominates in the UK, while others are hardly ever used. Improved clarity could open the opportunity for procurement officers to select more appropriate procedures. Because it aims to secure design copyright (PCR 2015, Reg. 32.2[b]1) use of the ‘Negotiated procedure without prior publication’ offers significant potential for clients to access the ideas and knowledge of those involved in ‘bottom up’ initiatives.
The regulation (32.2[b]) however is caveated ambiguously, in the following terms:
“when no reasonable alternative or substitute exists and the absence of competition is not the result of an artificial narrowing down of the parameters of the procurement”
An absence of guidance in the UK for procurement lawyers, specialists and public authorities’ means they are unable to justify using this procurement route. This is not the case in much of Europe where it is more widely used, as clarity on this regulation often exists.
We believe that this could be resolved and this alternative route opened up if clarification of clause 32.2[b] were provided to enable clients to benefit from the knowledge and initiative of an existing design team. What is needed is a process by which a project can be transparently and clearly evidenced as delivering value, probity, fairness and quality in the best interests of the public.
Subject to upholding all these other procurement principles, and to unlock opportunity through this procedural route we would therefore recommend regulation (32.2[b]) be clarified with the addition of a peer review process, to be used only where relevant, that would allow each case to be tested on its merits.
Our suggested wording for the clarification to regulation 32.2(b) is as follows:
“In the built environment this may be evidenced by impartial independent peer review, comprising a minimum of three qualified reviewers, with no conflicts of interest and having at least ten years’ experience of holding a specific qualification directly related to the subject being reviewed.”
We propose that consideration might be given to adopting this or a similar clarification through governance, or by standing order across the TfL GLA family, or by national provision through a Procurement Policy Note (PPN). This would allow us all to benefit from the positive and creative endeavours of those developing built environment ideas for public good.
London has many challenges and it is clear that we need to find a way through this issue that will encourage design professionals to come forward with ideas and to engage with communities in order to meet them, and for client bodies to know they can access those ideas and benefit from the knowledge and work already carried out.
We trust that your committee and the GLA will give due consideration to the matters raised above.
- Andy McConachie, associate partner Simpson Haugh Architects
- Angela Brady OBE. PDSA PPRIBA, director Brady Mallalieu Architects Ltd
- Carl Turner RIBA, Carl Turner Architects
- David Mikhail, Mikhail Riches architects
- Deborah Nagan, Nagan Johnson Architects
- Ian Ritchie CBE RA, Ian Ritchie Architects
- James McCosh RIBA, van Heyningen & Hayward Architects
- Jonathon McDowell, director Matter Architecture Ltd
- Luke Tozer, Pitman Tozer Architects Ltd
- Meryl Towney RIBA, van Heyningen & Hayward Architects
- Mike Davis CBE RIBA FRSA FRGS FICPD, founding partner of the Richard Rogers Partnership
- Robert Sakula, Ash Sakula Architects
- Roland Karthaus, director Matter Architecture Ltd
- Russell Curtis, director RCKa Architects
- Sarah Wigglesworth RDI MBE RIBA, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects
- Simon Astridge, Simon Astridge Architects
- Tomas Stokke RIBA, director Haptic Architects
- Walter Menteth RIBA, Walter Menteth Architects
1The Public Contract Regulations 2015 – Regulation 32
Use of the negotiated procedure without prior publication
(2) The negotiated procedure without prior publication may be used for public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts in any of the following cases:—
(a) where no tenders, no suitable tenders, no requests to participate or no suitable requests to participate have been submitted in response to an open procedure or a restricted procedure, provided that the initial conditions of the contract are not substantially altered and that a report is sent to the Commission where it so requests;
(b) where the works, supplies or services can be supplied only by a particular economic operator for any of the following reasons:—
(i) the aim of the procurement is the creation or acquisition of a unique work of art or artistic performance,
(ii) competition is absent for technical reasons,
(iii) the protection of exclusive rights, including intellectual property rights,
but only, in the case of paragraphs (ii) and (iii), where no reasonable alternative or substitute exists and the absence of competition is not the result of an artificial narrowing down of the parameters of the procurement;
Following investigations into London’s Garden Bridge nineteen architects have written to the Chair of the GLA Oversight Committee, calling for better ‘bottom up’ enablement of public services through regulatory clarity.
“There is now little motivation for design professionals to initiate and nurture projects from inception as almost invariably the original designers will be preclude as the established competition processes are highly restrictive.
This effectively ‘locks out’ many of those who would be particularly well placed to support ‘bottom up’ endeavours, whether for example through the engagement of design professionals with their communities or by creating imaginative and valuable design ideas contributing to the city’s wider needs, vitality and wellbeing.”
The proposals tabled would “..allow all to benefit from the positive and creative endeavours of those developing built environment ideas for public good.
“London has many challenges and it is clear that we need to find a way that will encourage design professionals to come forward with ideas and to engage with communities in order to meet these challenges, and for client bodies to know they can access those ideas and benefit from the knowledge and work already carried out.”