Contractors call for framework cull

Aaron Morby 8 months ago
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Civils contractors are calling on the Government to establish a ‘clearing house’ for frameworks to curb the proliferation of new agreements.

Firms say a mushrooming of frameworks on a national, regional and local level, is needlessly increasing costs for contractors and ultimately the UK taxpayer.

Even the Government is responsible for duplication with the planned Crown Commercial Service construction frameworks overlapping with individual education, health and modular construction frameworks from other departments.

Independent procurement groups are now expanding on the success of individual regional frameworks, rolling them out nationally.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association director of external affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: “With the launch of yet another national framework for construction this week, we are calling on the Government to act to ensure the UK’s increasingly fragmented framework landscape is fit for purpose.

“Frameworks are often launched with the express intention of saving money for the client, but their proliferation adds costs to contractors’ businesses.”

She added: “While we recognise that frameworks provide the ability to engage a consistent supply chain across a series of similar projects, we are now in a situation where a contractor tracking future work may see a multiplicity of different routes to market for any one scheme.

“This leads to punitive bidding costs and contributes to uncertainty in the sector, hampering our members’ ability to plan for future work.

“CECA has highlighted the potential pitfalls of this system, in particular with regards to the imminent Crown Commercial Service construction framework,” she added.

“This situation has come about from Government inaction rather than design.

“It is now seven years since the Government received a cross-industry recommendation to establish a ‘clearing house’ to avoid unfair and overlapping frameworks.

“Now is the time to revisit this work to secure better outcomes for customers and a more sustainable industry.”

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