Procurement trial projects under Cabinet Office scrutiny
The Cabinet Office is instigating a comprehensive system to guide and monitor the public sector projects trialling three new methods of procurement.
Each project will be assigned independent mentors to guide procurement staff, who will also be able to draw on a 30-page guide to the new approaches – cost-led procurement, two-stage open book tendering, and lean procurement.
The mentors and the printed guide will also set out expectations on the information and cost benefit data the project teams need to feed back to the Cabinet Office.
The advisory programme is being co-ordinated by a Trial Project Support Group chaired by Don Ward, chief executive of Constructing Excellence.
Ward commented: “Each project will be assigned a university academic to lead on co-ordinating the data, and there will be four interviews over the course of the project to collect information at different points.
“We will also be having meetings with the project teams, where each project will present on its progress, so there will be regular peer review.”
The projects taking part in the procurement trials include the Ministry of Justice’s Cookham Wood project (two-stage open book tendering); and the Upper Mole flood alleviation scheme in Surrey by the Environment Agency (cost-led procurement).
The London Borough of Lambeth will also be trialling two-stage open book tendering for its construction supply chain, and the Department of Health is adopting cost-led procurement on several Procure 21+ programmes.
The Ministry of Defence and The Education Funding Agency are also trialling lean procurement for complex construction projects.
The BIM trial projects will be monitored separately by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, while the Ministry of Defence is overseeing the Lympstone Royal Marines project that is adopting Integrated Project Insurance.
Ward said that the procurement trial projects, part of the Government Construction Strategy, would be pursued as a priority by Peter Hansford, the government’s incoming chief construction adviser. “A lot of this stuff has moved from policy into action, which is of course much harder to deliver, so it’s a good time for someone new to come in,” he said.
For more information on the three new procurement approaches and the other trial projects, click here https://update.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/Trial-Projects-July-2012.pdf