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22/10/13 11:07

Public sector construction contracts

Report published

An independent review of the way in which the Scottish public sector procures construction work has called for spending to be harnessed to bolster the Scottish economy.

The ‘Review of Procurement in Construction’, undertaken by Robin Crawford and Ken Lewandowski, was published today.

The independent review looked at how public bodies involved in construction-related procurement adopt practices that are streamlined and deliver value for taxpayers’ money.

The report estimates the total annual public sector spend on construction to be £4 billion.

Recommendations contained within the report include:

  • Greater leadership of construction procurement.
  • Improved construction skills across the public sector.
  • Design to be at the heart of construction procurement.

Speaking at the National Procurement Conference, Robin Crawford, Chair of the review said:

“Our vision is of an approach which achieves better collaboration in design led procurement, which achieves value for money for the public sector but which also recognises that the construction sector is a vitally important part of the Scottish economy.

“Much of the procurement undertaken by the public sector is conducted by capable people, but good practice is not uniform across the entire public sector, and we see many opportunities for others to learn from this best practice.”

Ken Lewandowski, Deputy Chair of the Review added:

“Responsibility for the reform agenda does not rest solely with the public sector, and so some of our recommendations are addressed to the many companies and firms working for public authorities.

“The construction industry is characterised by contentious behaviours, and must itself end practices which can hurt small firms such as extended payment terms and retention abuse”.

Welcoming the report, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I am grateful to Robin Crawford and Ken Lewandowski for the work they have undertaken to produce this report.

“It highlights the difficulties facing both industry and the public sector and presents many constructive recommendations.

“I am considering the full suite of recommendations from the review very carefully and will respond formally in due course.”

Notes to editors

Robin Crawford, a non-executive Director and a former forensic partner in KPMG LLP and Ken Lewandowski, former Chairman of the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solution Centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh, lead the review.

The report on the ‘Review of Procurement in Construction’ is available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/2688