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Research reveals clients are ignorant about procurement

New research from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) reveals that construction professionals believe more than 75% of clients are not knowledgeable enough about procurement, which is leading to time and cost overruns and poor quality projects.

A report looking at UK procurement reveals the views of more than 500 respondents who looked at the role of the client, current methods of procurement, the effects of the spending review and the prevalence of suicide bidding, as part of CIOB research published in December. The findings also provide an insight into ways in which construction procurement can be improved to offer better value, promote efficiency and save clients money.

More than 90% of respondents had been involved in projects that overran in terms of cost and 57% of those who had been involved in over-budget projects believed that the chosen procurement method directly contributed to the cost overruns. Similarly, 94% had been involved on projects that overran in terms of time. Of those, 49% said they believed the chosen procurement method directly led to the time overruns.

Simpler pre-qualification was raised by those polled as a way to increase competition levels for contracts and reduce waste in the procurement process. More than half of those taking part in the research said they supported the prospect of simplified pre-qualification questionnaires and many also felt that standardisation should become a priority in public sector procurement. Not only would help reduce costs, but it could lead to a more integrated supply chain and result in a decrease in waste.

CIOB Deputy Chief Executive, Michael Brown said, “Getting clients more bang for their buck should always be at the forefront of the industry’s mind. But to make that work clients have to listen to the advice given by industry as well. There is clearly a need to look beyond any immediate gains and towards those longer term benefits that can be achieved from the right type of procurement. If the industry is squeezed to get the cheapest tender then you’ll end up getting what you pay for.”

For more information and to download a summary of the report go to www.ciob.org.uk

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