Post Hero Image

Government trials, not tribulations

In its 2011 Government Construction Strategy setting out how the public sector clients need to improve, the Cabinet Office proposed three new procurement models to be trialled in support of the target to achieve savings of 15-20% by 2014/15. The procurement models were Integrated Project Insurance (IPI), Cost Led Procurement, and Two Stage Open Book. All three models are based on delivery by integrated project teams working collaboratively, and it is expected that, alongside reduced costs, the models will contribute to improved programme certainty, reduced risk, greater innovation, and improved relationships across the supply chain.

Over the last year most central government departments have put forward projects to trial these new models, including Environment Agency, Ministry of Justice (demonstrating integration with BIM), Ministry of Defence, Homes and Communities Agency, and a number of local authorities. IPI is a radical new approach with potential for a step change, and is getting its first ‘commercial outing’ in this programme, for which the project team are to be commended. The other two are well proven in parts of the public as well as private sector, and we can point to many early adopters in the last ten years or so, including in the Constructing Excellence demonstration programmes. So it is that the latter two have published their first case studies under the Cabinet Office led programme. Early findings already indicate that smarter procurement focused on earlier supply chain involvement is delivering the targeted sustainable cost reductions.

By 2015/16 BIM level 2 will be mandatory, and these models will be expected to be embedded as business as usual in procurement and delivery processes of government construction projects. Therefore all contractors wanting to win work with the public sector from 2015/16 onwards should be ready to operate the processes and behaviours required.

For more information, including downloading the individual case studies, see the Government website or e-mail GovernmentConstructionTeam@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk.

(This article first appeared on building.co.uk)