Procurement

Procurement : Streamlining the process

Procurement continues to be a hugely contentious issue for civil engineering contractors. Public sector procurement processes represent the gateway between public and private sectors but the process is, so often, bureaucratic, costly and time consuming. Streamlining the process of bidding for work, making it more efficient and effective, has been a key priority for CECA Wales.

We work with clients, politicians and policy makers to streamline public procurement practices, to inform and influence public procurement policy and support initiatives to improve efficiency and productivity across the sector

We work with major construction clients including Welsh Government, local government, Dwr Cymru, Natural Resources Wales and Network Rail to persuade them to minimise bidding costs for contractors and maximise value for money for their own organisation.

As frustrating as this area of business continues to be we have been busy preparing responses to both the Welsh and UK Governments as they seek to introduce new legislation to address current failings. It’ll take more than legislation to change culture and behaviours but it’s a step in the right direction. Here is the consultation on the Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill https://www.ceca.co.uk/welsh-govt-consultation-draft-social-partnership-and-public-procurement-wales-bill/ and here’s our response to the UK Government Green Paper on “Transforming Public Procurement” https://www.ceca.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CECA-Wales-response-to-UK-Gov-Transforming-Procurement-consultation.pdf

In terms of our plans and priorities for 2022 you can see more in our Annual Review but here’s a snapshot

We’ll continue to work across the sector to streamline public procurement practices by

    1. Meeting regularly with key clients
    2. Working with the Welsh Construction Forum
    3. Inputting directly to the Forum Working Groups
    4. Working with partners to develop a “value based procurement” toolkit

We’ll continue to inform and influence public procurement policy by

    1. Promoting the David Mosey review of frameworks, , Constructing The Gold Standard https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1041002/Constructing_The_Gold_Standard_Final.pdf,  amongst clients to pursue best practice
    2. Inputting to the development of the Welsh Government’s Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill https://gov.wales/draft-social-partnership-and-public-procurement-wales-bill and reviewing the outcome of the UK Government Transforming Public Procurement Bill https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/green-paper-transforming-public-procurement/outcome/transforming-public-procurement-government-response-to-consultation
    3. Inputting to the Welsh Government proposals for a Public Procurement Centre of Excellence

We’ll support initiatives to improve efficiency and productivity across the sector by

    1. Working with clients to publish their 12-24 month work programmes
    2. Informing and influencing discussions on fair payment and retentions
    3. Promoting more equitable forms of risk management amongst clients

And in previous years?

CECA produced a report in 2016 on procurement, called “Directions in policy for the UK infrastructure industry”, based on responses from members, which has made a series of recommendations for improvement. CECA Wales, in partnership with the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACE) in Wales and the County Surveyors Society Wales followed this up with their own Wales specific report titled “Streamlining Public Procurement”. This report forms the basis of ongoing discussions with major construction clients and you can view a copy via our Publications page.

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