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)
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”
Carillion’s collapse: Project Compass director Russell Curtis has called in ‘Let’s hope the lessons of Carillion’s failure will be learnt’, (AJ 17 January 2018) for “a more diverse supply chain to avoid another Carillion catastrophe, so we can face a future with a diverse, specialist and varied supply chain, which matches projects with proficiency and project scale with practice size.”
The growing crisis within the building industry shows that the driving policies and practices which are aggregating contracting into ever larger private contracts is simply failing, from the Edinburgh Schools fiasco, Grenfell and now Carillion’s collapse.
In UK procurement far practice greater regard now needs to be placed on the available provisions within Directive 2014/24/EU and the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (noted in the informative below). These provisions have to date been in effect disregarded in procurement within England.
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”
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.”
Design Contest Portals from thirty three European countries that announce architectural design contests and competitive opportunities are now published on thefulcrum.eu .
Open International contests, private contests and opportunities below OJEU thresholds and can also be found through this unique public listing.
Produced as part of the four year programme ‘Competition Culture in Europe’ and issued accompanying publication of Competition Culture in Europe 2013-2016, the list makes information more accessible for those seeking to engage.
We will continue to update this list but if you know of a country or a website that is missing, please notify us by email. Many of the results are also included along with the many opportunities and other insights now available.
(This article was originally published in Planning & Building Control Today).
To find an architect lamenting the erosion of the profession’s role within the construction process may elicit from many little more than crocodile tears, and to others, smack of a futile act of self-preservation when faced with challenging financial targets, shrinking capital budgets and the avoidance of risk. But whilst architects’ railing at the demotion of quality in favour of ‘certainty’ is hardly new, events of the last year have suddenly thrust our concerns into the spotlight.
It is still far too early to apportion culpability for the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in June, but it is possible that this may emerge as the latest, and most tragic, manifestation decreasing oversight that architects have been warning about for so long. At the very least, there is clear evidence that a lack of professional, independent scrutiny has resulted directly in catastrophic failures elsewhere which could — had circumstances been only very slightly different — have resulted in tragedies of their own.
After the Thames Garden Bridge debacle and in response to the Hodge Review, on 17 July TfL Board were invited to approve a series of recommendations for governance changes to increase oversight and effectiveness of their procurement activities. This follows on from a number of other previously implemented changes also made public HERE. Whilst this represents progress following the Project Compass report into the ‘Thames Garden Bridge Procurement Issues’ (feb 2016) we will continue to work forward on the need for further reform of procurement governance, practices, procedures and opportunities, particularly for design professionals, both across London and elsewhere.