The government announced in November 2013 that it was putting a huge project management framework out to tender, after many delays. The tender has faced ten months of set-backs but was finally announced as being worth up to £750 million to consultants. This is all well and good but how will the government benefit from it?
What does the framework consist of?
The framework tender is being referred to as Project Management and Full Design Team Services (PMFDTS) and its release has been long awaited in the industry. Disciplines included are project management, engineering, architecture and cost consultancy, as well as a range of public sector bodies. The post office, police and fire services, and national parks are all a part of the framework, with several winners of each category expected.
There are five lots that consist of design team services, cost management, two ‘One Stop Shops’ that cover all services both at home and internationally, and project management. A number of different winners are allocated to each lot, with 31 firms that could potentially win a place. The framework is expected to go live in April 2014 when all of the winners have been selected.
The government has a range of different benefits to gain from this tender, with one of them being that the economy could be revitalized. There is a focus on giving SMEs (small and medium enterprise) a chance to get some of the contracts and many of them have been working together to put in a joint bid. Having smaller companies involved in such a big project will help to give them a boost and may even offer them the potential to expand, creating a positive outcome for the government.
On top of that, there are various other benefits to the government. If it puts the project management out to tender, it means that it can be sure to find a company that will give it the best possible service. Trying to find and train staff internally to run various different elements of the framework is not only costly but may also mean that the projects do not get the expert service.
With each discipline being assigned to a company that specializes in that particular element, the government can rest assured that all of the jobs are being undertaken by trained members of staff that know exactly what they are doing, rather than by people who may not have the detailed knowledge and skill-set for each individual role.
Of course, it’s worth noting that by offering the framework out to tender, the cost to the government may end up being more upfront. However, if the quality of the work being done is of a higher standard than it would have been had the government arranged it independently, then it could be seen as money well spent. An initial higher investment may actually end up being cheaper in the long run because the quality of work will be better and completed more efficiently so there will be no need to spend out for any errors.