Last year the Government released their review of public sector construction frameworks. We welcome the drive for Gold Standard – and so we’ve carried out an in-depth review of the report. In many cases we already align with their recommendations but we’re always looking at ways to improve our service offering. We’ve devised an action plan and will be updating you regularly as we progress.
Our last update looked at the Gold Standard in more detail and the story so far – https://southeastconsortium.org.uk/sec-gold-standard-frameworks-where-are-we-now/
Since then, we’ve continued our work on aligning with the Gold Standard. This includes:
- incorporating the principles from FAC-1 (Framework Alliancing Contract) into our new framework Alliancing Agreement, and,
- reviewing key parts of our procurement procedures.
What’s different about our Framework Alliancing Agreement?
SEC aligns to the Gold Standard aims to promote ‘better, safer, faster, greener’ construction through how we procure and deliver projects with our customers. A key part of this is the opportunity and ability to include provision for strategic collaborative relationships between clients, suppliers, and the supply chain, with resulting value improvements and risk reduction. Our Framework Alliancing Agreement supports and facilitates these aims. Alliancing isn’t compulsory for our customers, and it may not apply to every framework. Where it does apply, we would encourage customers to be involved. We have further revised our Framework Alliancing Agreement to include aims and objectives and a KPI structure to enable us to support customers in getting the best from choosing an Alliancing approach.
What changes have we made to our procedures?
We’ve reviewed our procedure for direct awards and mini tenders to enhance the process for customers and contractors. The aim of this is to drive good quality procurement methods and timely procurement outcomes . We caught up with Tracy Shepherd, our Procurement Manager on the changes and what they mean for our customers – “We’ve designed our new process to enable customers to work with us more easily and get the project result that they want. Clear and concise procurement documents will ensure a seamless process from expression of interest to issuing the tender. This gives tenderers a more realistic timeline to work to and ensures customers get a better response.”
The work doesn’t stop here. We’ll be working on our action plan and will update you as we go. This includes –
- Developing a fact sheet for contractors around some of the key features of a Gold Standard framework and how Alliancing works – we’re introducing this based on feedback gathered during engagement sessions for recent framework procurements which now reference
- Developing a fact sheet for our customers around some of the key features of a Gold Standard framework – helping them to manage an Alliancing Contract, and consider the benefits / responsibilities when choosing to use it.
- We’ll also host roundtable events to support information sharing and discuss the implementation of Alliancing contracts in more detail.
We’re also running our Procurement AM event on 23 May – promoting the Gold Standard recommendations and Cabinet Office’s procurement reform. You can register for this today – https://southeastconsortium.org.uk/sec-events/procurement-am/
If you’d like to speak to us about this in more detail we’re here and happy to help – Louise Free, or Partnerships Manager is leading on our Gold Standard action plan.