Letters to the editor
Procurement has to change totally
The issue on procurement (News April 5) is really very simple. The more complex the process, the larger the organisation and the more removed the client is from the purchasing — the more expensive it gets.
The current framework system is complex and alienates most companies as only large organisations can afford to enter the competition. Nimble, creative and small companies cannot get past the criteria for selection which demand a considerable turnover.
There is no reason why consultant fees for government work should not be fixed, so that the real competition is on the design, performance and delivery. Those making the selection need to be experienced and skilled at looking at the submissions, so that it is not a meaningless tick-box exercise and innovation can be understood.
Without an intelligent client we will continue to have unintelligent processes for procurement. Refining the procedure that is in place at the moment will only make matters worse. The aspiration that government work (40% of construction) should be farmed out to half a dozen large contracting organisations will be a disaster.
The system needs to be changed, not enhanced.
Reserve some work for small firms
I feel it will be very difficult to persuade large or public sector clients away from the familiar names on their framework agreements.
Allocating a small percentage of work within all major projects to smaller practices could provide a door in to the future big hitters and help prevent future stagnation and monopoly.
These smaller practices would be chosen through interviews and competitions and put on a temporary mini framework with the aim of giving them a genuine path to expansion.
Julia Burden, via bdonline