For the Olympics a series of construction commitments were published by government to set the minimum standards to be applied to the programme. CE were recently invited by the Strategic Forum to update these commitments and this has recently been published [hot link].
The CW Champions, in partnership with the CE Procurement theme group, undertook the review of what is the minimum necessary to achieve collaborative procurement; the prerequisite to collaborative working. These have been turned into the following baseline Top 10.
- Make all procurement decisions transparent. Appoint on the basis of best value rather than lower cost, use evaluation criteria and where appropriate, specialist advisors.
- Ensure all members of the construction team are appointed early enough, so they understand the needs and can contribute to design development.
- Require everyone to demonstrate their competency, their commitment to integrated working including common systems, processes and procedures, innovation, sustainability and to a culture of trust and transparency.
- Ensure effective and equitable cashflow for all those involved; all contracts to incorporate fair payment practices, such as payment periods of 30 days, no unfair withholding of retentions and utilise project bank accounts where appropriate.
- Ensure contracts include mechanisms to encourage defects-free construction and support soft landings during construction and after occupation.
- Identify and share the duties of each project team member at the outset of the project and ensure all members are involved as early as possible, particularly during the design process.
- Ensure all parties have appropriate insurance policies; understands the overlaps, gaps and exclusions and consider the use of consolidated project based policies.
- Make sure all risks are clearly identified, financially quantified and allocated in line with each party’s ownership and ability to manage the risk; including holding secure sensitive personal, project and company data.
- Apply contracts that have an informal and non-confrontational mechanism to manage-out disputes.
- Confirm that everyone including the client, commits to scrutinise the employment practices of all organisations, including sub-contractors and the self-employed to avoid abuses.
In due course the CW Champions will consider what exceptional procurement looks like, but for now if you are expecting to achieve genuine collaborative working these are the things everyone needs to commit to and clients in particular need to insist on if they want to achieve superior value through collaborative working.