Magazine article Public Finance

Changes to School Building Procurement 'Not Enough'

Magazine article Public Finance

Changes to School Building Procurement 'Not Enough'

Article excerpt

An education charity has reacted with dismay to proposals intended to improve and streamline the government's flagship school building programme.

The British Council for School Environments said the procurement review of Building Schools for the Future had not delivered the fundamental changes it hoped for.

Partnerships for Schools - the delivery arm of Building Schools for the Future - conducted the review in response to concerns that the programme was poor value for money. Bid costs totalled ?2m per bidder and there was a duplication of work that tied up local authority resources.

Despite protracted delivery times, the process did not allow enough time to think through design issues, critics said.

The review, published on February 5, recommended a reduction in overall procurement time, down to 75 weeks from the current 82-week model.

It also suggested two lead bidders should be selected earlier in the process and called for a refocusing of time to allow for more detailed development and completion of design work.

PfS chief executive Tim Byles said: 'Together, the proposed refinements are good news for an already healthy and dynamic market, offering a range of benefits - not least the opportunity for significant cost savings at both a national and a project level. …

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