Call for simple and transparent PQQs for small firms

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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Chartered surveyors have taken up the cause of small construction companies urging the Government to simplify its prequalification procedures.

RICS has spent several months assessing the problems faced by SMEs in construction. It has identified three areas where Government needs to act to help smaller firms get a fair share of work being dished out.

RICS believes the government’s current procurement process is blocking work from cascading to smaller firms because too many resources are needed to handle paperwork.

It argues that the corner stone of change is to simplify and make publicly available PQQs for use by SMEs.

This should be supported by an RICS developed paper supporting all contracting authorities on retaining quality whilst making 15 – 20% savings in procurement and avoiding decisions that are purely based on price.

Central to RICS’ policy is a call to government to improve access to public sector construction contracts, including infrastructure repair and maintenance, by making them visible to all in the industry.

This would bring work to the regions meaning smaller contracts could cascade down to SMEs.

RICS also identified availability of finance and knowledge of how to access it as key concerns during the consultation.

To combat this it wants to see the Department for Business Innovation and Skills create a single portal for SME finance offering advice on what is on offer and how to apply.

Jeremy Blackburn, Head of UK Policy at RICS said: “Visible pipelines, complex procurement and access to finance are all major concerns for the industry as a whole and particularly SMEs.

“These issues are intrinsically linked and it is vital we have an overarching approach to address them. The recommendations outlined in our policy document provide a unified approach for government, industry and RICS that have the potential to provide direct and meaningful support for the industry.

“SMEs account for a significant proportion of the construction sector and 50% of RICS members. If we can support these businesses to thrive rather than just survive it will provide a strong foundation for the industry now and for the future. Quite simply, SMEs are the building blocks of recovery.”

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