The newly launched local government construction procurement strategy should set framework for improving public procurement believes Federation of Master Builders
The Local Government Association’s (LGA) Construction Category Strategy is intended to support a more focused approach to what is a key spending area for local government and a major source of employment across the country.
It hopes the strategy will highlight new developments and ideas which can help to support improved procurement practices, collaboration and strategic co-ordination of the local government’s annual spending on construction.
After commissioning a report into procurement, the LGA launched its National Procurement Strategy (NPS) in 2014. Construction was selected as a priority category as part of work underpinning the NPS. It identifies what is needed under four themes: maximising savings, supporting local economies, modernisation and demonstrating leadership.
“Local government wants to build long term partnerships with suppliers who we believe can help us deliver significant local growth, increased skills and jobs,” explained Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board. “The strategy is the first step in addressing the need for a strong collaboration between industry and local government to make sure that local people have the skills required to deliver these projects.”
There is some way to go as figures show that 41% of construction small to medium enterprises (SMEs) fail to win nine out of 10 public sector contracts they bid for.
“The LGA focus on making procurement processes more SME-friendly is extremely welcome,” said Brian Berry, Chief Executive, FMB. “The new strategy, which is the first of its kind, is right to highlight how increasing the amount of construction work awarded to construction SMEs is key to maximising local economic growth. I urge all local authorities to analyse their own processes against the key objectives contained within the Strategy and ensure their own approach isn’t needlessly blocking small firms.”
Caption Brian Berry, Chief Executive, FMB – “The new strategy….is right to highlight how increasing the amount of construction work awarded to construction SMEs is key to maximising local economic growth.”