New Westminster public sector construction framework looks to drive ‘consistency’

A new ‘Gold Standard’ in public sector construction frameworks has been created by the UK Government.

Recommendations for the new standard are designed to ensure the ‘best possible’ outcomes are achieved in public sector developments – such as schools and hospital builds.

It sets out how both the UK Government and construction sector must work together to tackle waste, secure value for money and drive innovation to achieve ‘better, faster, safer and greener’ outcomes.

Cabinet office minister, Lord Agnew, said, “The new Gold Standard will make sure that vital public sector developments have rigorous measures in place to make sure public money is spent well and that projects are delivered successfully. This will be welcomed across the public sector, the construction industry and by the public, who have a right to expect the best possible public sector projects.”

The UK Government said the move will help drive consistency across major government projects and support the whole supply chain – meaning major schemes do not fall behind and small firms have a ‘greater chance’ of securing government business.

The independent review of public sector construction frameworks and the development of the Gold Standard were led by Professor David Mosey of King’s College London’s Centre of Construction Law.

The review looked at public sector construction frameworks with a combined value of £180 billion and considered more than 120 written submissions and 50 interviews. Analysis found evidence of waste, confusion and duplication in processes as well as too strong a focus on achieving the lowest price, rather than best value. To tackle these issues, the Gold Standard puts in place 24 recommendations, which must be met by both developers and the public sector.

These Standards will help guarantee projects have improved efficiency and innovation, increased safety standards, a focus on net zero carbon and social value targets.

Professor Mosey said, “The effectiveness of construction frameworks is hampered by duplication, inconsistency and adversarial practices, wasting large amounts of money and impeding essential progress. The new Gold Standard for frameworks and framework contracts drives the strategic actions that will improve value and safety, manage risks, meet Net Zero Carbon targets and support a profitable construction industry.”