Transforming Public Procurement: Response to the Government Green Paper Consultation

This submission responds to the consultation on post Brexit reform of public procurement being proposed by the UK Government, published on 15 Dec. 2020.  While many of the proposed reforms are welcomed, such as the greater focus on long term outcomes and social value, this response highlights further opportunities to secure design quality, innovation, ease of access, and better construction sector procurement.

However most of the objectives raised appear possible under the Public Contract Regulations (PCR 2015)) and rather than reforming the legislation, a profound improvement in capacity, capability and culture is thought of greater value for achieving the objectives being sought.

Making proportionality a primary principle in procurement, retaining Design Contest procedures and assessment of fees on a mean narrowed average basis are among matters raised.

A primary principle in procurement should be proportionality, so that processes and procedures are most appropriate. For consultants in construction a specific concern is that the Design Contest Procedure is not included. This is the only procedure provided specifically for the appointment of architects and planners. It has an anonymous, qualitative and peer review assessment and selection procedure based on a spatial design proposition. It is a long standing internationally recognised competition format well explained within the Project Compass Design Contest Guidance. This procedure provides unique and innovative opportunities. 

This March 2021 joint response is a collaboration between Project Compass CIC and London Practice Forum synthesised from responses received from friends and members of both organisations to a call for views on the Gov. outlined proposals.

LPF is a membership organisation of 22 architectural firms with a shared interest in fundamental challenges such as the ongoing climate crisis, the lack of diversity within the architectural profession and the poor quality of many of the buildings produced by it.

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