Public sector owned procurement specialist the Scape Group has announced a series of measures to support delivery partners and clients during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.
This includes extending its Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework by three months and National Construction Framework by four months.
In addition, Scape will postpone the issue of the invitation to tender (ITT) for its National Consultancy framework for three months and temporarily delay the procurement of its National Construction framework (NCF) for a similar period.
The framework extensions and postponements have been actioned by Scape to enable delivery partners to focus on commissioned projects and to ensure continuity of services during these unprecedented times. Scape has concluded the pre-qualification phase for the National Consultancy framework and has taken the opportunity to delay the issue of the invitation to tender.
Scape has already introduced a phased business continuity strategy that will ensure that clients will continue to receive performance data, procurement advice, project-related guidance and the day-to-day support they need.
Additionally, Scape is working closely with delivery partners at all levels, to ensure appropriate safeguards and safety measures are in place within their organisations and across all live projects.
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “As the situation surrounding coronavirus evolves, we are focused on delivering robust contingency plans to minimise service disruption to our clients.
“By extending our existing frameworks and delaying the procurement of these upcoming frameworks, we can avoid placing additional pressure on delivery partners, and prospective partners, as they focus on adapting to these unprecedented circumstances and can therefore focus on supporting our public sector colleagues.
“We’re mindful of the governments’ current advice to contracting bodies on expediency with procurement during the current crisis, which will clearly be needed to procure what’s needed to help public services deal with the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We can provide additional flexibility to support the rapid deployment of critical projects. This includes direct awards, single supplier frameworks and in-house expertise in off-site construction.
“The industry needs to keep moving for as long as possible during the crisis, because the long-term costs to construction of a prolonged shutdown will be significant. And this especially important for live critical projects, like those for the NHS.
“But, work should only continue in compliance with the Site Operating Procedures published by the Construction Leadership Council, which set out guidance on protecting workforces operating on construction sites. We’re supporting clients and delivery partners in doing this where sites remain open.”
Scape Group’s £1bn consultancy framework will replace the current built environment consultancy services (BECS) framework. The ITT evaluation stage was due to run between April and June this year, with the intention to award in August 2020. The £7bn National Construction framework has been running since May 2017, led by Willmott Dixon, Robertson, Wates and Lendlease.
All construction partners have already been notified of the change to the procurement timeline.