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Procurement study reveals local authority practices

05 July 2016

A survey has revealed insights into aspects of construction procurement practices adopted by nearly 200 English councils.

Conducted by the Specialist Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group, findings include details such as that 27% of local authorities are now using PAS 91 exclusively to standardise pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs).

Additionally, more than 36% of those surveyed are using the standard questionnaire published by the Crown Commercial Service.

However, no standard approach to assessing contractors' technical capabilities could be identified.

Just 6% of councils valued trade association membership, while 18% relied on references, 20% used information from previous experience and 19% simply relied on the response to questionnaires, some of which do not specify technical capabilities.

The survey revealed that only 11% of authorities insisted that tier 1 contractors use standard questionnaires for the supply chain, with 40% require them to use standard sub-contracts.

Information about the use of project bank accounts (PBAs) was also included, with uptake by councils continuing to disappoint, with just 14 councils considering their use.

However, the use of PBAs within the FM sector are said to be increasing and PFM will be publish more information on this at a later date.

SEC Group chief executive officer Rudi Klein said: "I take heart from the fact that more and more councils are now using standard PQQs.

"I hope this trend continues because, cross the UK, firms are wasting over £1bn a year filling in questionnaires and duplicating this exercise many times over."

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