Local authorities advised to plan for post-lockdown backlog of building work

Clive Feeney

SCOTLAND’S councils and registered social landlords have been urged to prepare for an expected backlog of building and maintenance works once the current ban on non-essential construction activity is eased.

Public sector procurement specialist SPA is providing information to its partners and appointed companies on its frameworks, with updated advice on how to manage the risks arising from the current Covid-19 situation.

The new advice follows the publication of the latest Scottish Procurement Policy Note regarding procurement once restrictions are lifted and advice on how to plan the timing of procurement so suppliers are not overloaded.

Clive Feeney, director of SPA explained, “While most building work is on hold, we’re recommending local authorities and registered social landlords to start planning for when the brakes come off, so they’re prepared to get work going again as soon as possible. We know there’s lots of housing maintenance and other work that have had to be postponed or will be coming up soon, so we advise our partners to speak to the team now to get support and guidance for when the restrictions are lifted.

“In some cases, organisations may be operating with minimal staff and getting prepared for a future surge in procurement may seem like a daunting task under the circumstances. But our team is here to reassure them that we’re just a phone call away, offering specialist support on our frameworks, and on any aspect of using or applying for our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), which has particular benefits in a situation like this.

“In particular, the new whole house refurbishment DPS gives organisations a much faster and more flexible approach to procurement. It means they can get swift access to pre-qualified suppliers who we know can be trusted to deliver projects in their regions. We think this could be a benefit when things pick up and contracts need to be let quickly but compliantly.”