Civils contractors have welcomed news that the UK government has announced an independent review of public sector frameworks and said that reform in this area is “long overdue.”
The Cabinet Office has announced that professor David Mosey of King’s College London is to lead an independent review of public sector frameworks, with a view to how best to implement best practice as set out in last December’s Construction Playbook.
Ministers say the review recognises the potential of frameworks as a powerful engine-room for implementing Construction Playbook policies that include strategic planning, integrated teams, continuous improvement and the delivery of better, safer, faster and greener project outcomes.
The Framework Review will lead to recommendations for:
- The components of a ‘gold standard’ against which new proposed frameworks and framework contracts can be measured;
- Standard contract terms that support the new gold standard;
- Training packages to enable adoption of the new gold standard.
Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs for the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), said: “It is nearly a decade since the UK government received a cross-industry recommendation to establish a ‘clearing house’ to avoid unfair and overlapping frameworks.
“We recognise that while commercial frameworks are a powerful tool to implement strategic planning and the delivery of optimal project outcomes, their proliferation in recent years has led to a fragmented and sometimes contradictory system that imposes burdens on businesses.
“Professor Mosey’s review should focus on identifying best practice when it comes to frameworks, and we look forward to engaging with his work with the goal of securing value for money for the client across infrastructure procurement in the UK.
“CECA’s own research has highlighted a number of areas in which frameworks should be reformed, and we hope this work will be taken into consideration by the review.
“Establishing what the ‘gold standard’ is for frameworks and implementing this model will ultimately lead to better outcomes for the UK taxpayer, the economy, and for our members, who at the current time are hamstrung by a frameworks system that is not fit for purpose.”
The Construction Playbook was launched on 8 December 2020 containing 14 key policy reforms to enable ‘faster, better, greener’ construction by transforming the assessment, procurement and delivery of public works projects and programmes.