One of the most active sectors for bids and tenders has always been Construction and Infrastructure with high-value framework opportunities on offer. Yesterday, Chris Blackburn, our Manchester-based Senior Bid Manager attended the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) webinar to learn more about the Construction Works frameworks to be tendered this year. This session was part of the CCS ongoing market engagement.

As we reported in March, this level of detailed market engagement and reflecting supplier requirements should be applauded. This model should be rolled out more widely in the public sector as so often, we work with bidders who question the specification and feel with earlier engagement, the benefits of a framework to both buyer and supplier would be far greater.

There are two major CCS construction framework procurement processes which will run across the next twelve months, going live for the 2019/20 Financial Year. These are:

Construction Work Contractors

Modular Building Solutions

So far CCS have held market engagement sessions in Manchester and Birmingham and one-to-one sessions to discuss specific requirements. They are now planning a further market engagement session in June/July to reconfirm the lot requirements, before launching the tender process.

These frameworks will be open to any public sector body to use, so the scale and variety of projects is significant. The biggest development since our article in March has been CCS producing its lot strategy, balancing value, regional and specialist considerations. For the Construction Works contract they are proposing the following breakdown:

  • Lot 1 – Construction Works – £0k-£3m
    • Regional Lots:
    • A – North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humber, East Midlands and West Midlands (Up to 12 suppliers)
    • B – East of England, London, South East, South West (Up to 12 suppliers)
    • C – Wales (Up to 12 suppliers)
    • D – Scotland (Up to 12 suppliers)
    • E – Northern Ireland (Up to 12 suppliers)
  • Lot 2 – Construction Works – £3m-£10m
    • Same regional lot breakdown as Lot 1
  • Lot 3 – Construction Works – £10m-£30m
    • Same regional lot breakdown as Lot 1
  • Lot 4 – Construction Works – £30m+
    • Same regional lot breakdown as Lot 1
  • Lot 5 or Dynamic Purchasing System – TBC – Construction Works £100m+ (Up to 12 suppliers)

This gives the potential for 21 different sub-lots for Lots 1-5, and with a likely 4 year framework with 3 year extensions, the prize is significant for any bidder. CCS are also looking at specialist lots covering each of the following areas, with a combination of national and regional breakdowns, given the highly specialised nature of the work:

  • Lot 6 – Residential
    • Same regional lot breakdown as Lot 1 (Up to 12 suppliers per lot – 8 in Northern Ireland)
  • Lot 7 – Residential – High Rise
    • Same regional lot breakdown as Lot 1 (Up to 12 suppliers per lot – 8 in Northern Ireland)
  • Lot 8 or Dynamic Purchasing System – Maritime and Airfields (Up to 6 suppliers)
  • Lot 9 – Historic Buildings/Conservation (Between 12-20 suppliers)
  • Lot 10 – Nuclear (Between 6-12 suppliers)
  • Lot 11 – Construction Management (Between 12-20 suppliers)
  • Lot 12 – Demolition (Between 12-20 suppliers)

This means there is the potential for 420-450 suppliers to be appointed in total across all the lots, although there is a strong likelihood bidders will be successful in multiple categories. Suppliers though that are appointed a place in Lot 1 will be limited in what they can be awarded in the higher value Construction Works Lots (2-5).

CCS are also looking to reduce the cost of bidding by standardising bid documents across the multiple opportunities and frameworks. They are currently looking at using the PAS91 approach, avoiding the complaint we hear from many bidders that they are asked multiple times for the same information across multiple lots or tender phases. CCS also stated that Digital and BIM Level 2 will be prominent compliance requirements for all bidders.

CCS will be utilising a restricted procedure, with a PQQ sifting phase and final ITT award stage. The next steps for the procurement are as follows:

  • Summer 2018 – OJEU Release/PQQ
  • Autumn 2018 – ITT Award Stage
  • Spring 2019 – Framework award and commencement

All of this procurement has to be set against the context of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by Dame Judith Hackett. This was commissioned by the Government following the Grenfell Tower fire and is expected to make significant recommendations around building regulations and fire safety, especially for high-rise buildings.

The Construction Work Contractors and Modular Building Solutions frameworks give bidders a huge opportunity, and they need to put their best foot forward to secure a place. At AM Bid, we regularly work with clients to secure positions on hugely valuable frameworks in the public sector. If you want to have the best chance of winning, contact us for a no obligation chat to receive our exclusive support in working with you on these upcoming bid opportunities.