NEPO was forced to rip up previous bids after legal advice warned the whole award process was vulnerable to challenges from failed bidders.
Prequal submissions from more than 80 firms were received way back in April 2011 with around 40 moving to the more detailed evaluation and award process.
But procurement chiefs said big variations in pricing schedules submitted by contractors made the whole process difficult to evaluate, despite many attempts to clarify bids.
Now the framework structure has been simplified reducing the number of lots down from eight to four. The categories will now be divided between construction-only and design and build capability, rather than by regions as attempted before.
NEPO framework lots
- Lot 1 Construction projects over £4m
- Lot 2 Design and build projects over £4m
- Lot 3 Design and build projects up to £4m
- Lot 4 Construction projects up to £4m
Interested firms can obtain further details at the NEPO eTender portal.
The bid race is being handled by Gateshead Council, which said it has been forced to go right back to inviting PQQs again because the standing of many firms has changed over the last 18 months.
Councils in the north east hope to make big savings and reduce the time to market for appointing contractors, saving £35m over the four-year term on new building work in the region.
Contact Juliet Davison, tel: 01914335971