The Future of Frameworks: Quality procurement has never been more important

Frameworks, for example, offer a valuable platform through which to achieve cost savings and efficiencies, embed social value, develop opportunities for SMEs and micro businesses, stimulate growth and deliver value to the public sector and the communities they serve.

In addition to driving efficiency, our KPIs not only measure the use of local suppliers, employment and apprenticeships, they consider Social Value in its widest context, helping the public sector to leave a lasting and positive legacy.

Working with the Social Value Portal, SCAPE have also adopted the National TOMs, (Themes, Outcomes and Measures) to ensure our clients can evidence the fiscal returns, benefiting their communities, which the social value initiatives have delivered.

I believe a key priority for the public sector and the industry is to find ways in which everyone can collaborate to address the vulnerabilities of the supply chain. We all recognise SMEs and micro businesses are the lifeblood of local economies, and it is vital they are supported by adopting appropriate procurement strategies.

John Simons, Head of Procurement and Audit at SCAPE Procure

Frameworks can offer a positive platform through which to manage supply chain relationships and to ensure local needs are met. In this way, frameworks can promote SME engagement and give public sector organisations the confidence their local supply chain is being supported.

To this end, there are methods available which can be of influence; for example, the abandonment of cash retentions is a crucial and an important step for the industry. At SCAPE, we have long discouraged the use of retentions on our frameworks, and the Government is now rightly consulting on the practice.

It is critical to ensure all suppliers and subcontractors are paid within a minimum of 30 days, and ideally much quicker still. All construction partners on SCAPE’s frameworks are required to pay their supply chain within 19 days from the date of certification. Finally, Project Bank Accounts; whilst not popular at present, if developed appropriately, can be of vital importance for certain projects.

Frameworks have never been more important or effective as a tool for the public sector to manage their procurement in a way that ensures efficient and effective delivery of projects. They also offer an important opportunity for the public sector and the industry to work together to set new standards for the construction sector. I look forward to working with colleagues at the Construction Frameworks Conference to address these issues and explore how we can achieve even more for the public sector and local communities.

Written by: