Smarter procurement, including expanding the definition of ‘value’, being more transparent in terms of best practice, and getting key basics right – particularly in regard to Fair Payment – were the key messages given to JCT delegates in a presentation by Ann Bentley, at the JCT Povey Lecture held at The Building Centre, London, on Wednesday 8th November.
The subject of Ann Bentley’s lecture was to describe the work she has been doing in her role on the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) – a body which draws together business leaders from across the construction industry in order to drive improvement in productivity, and meet the targets set out in the government’s 2013 Construction Strategy.
It has been identified that the gap between productivity in the construction sector vs the average productivity across all sectors in the UK is costing £15bn a year. The CLC is working to draw the industry and government closer together to make improvements digitally, in manufacturing, and in whole life performance, by addressing procurement, innovation, and skills.
Ann’s work with the CLC has focused primarily on the procurement aspect of its strategy – ‘Procure for better value’, which aims to:
•Use outcome-based procurement to drive capital delivery and lifetime performance.
•Increase transparency on the performance of suppliers and assets.
•Improve procurement efficiency and get the basics right.
Expanding on these key aims, Ann outlined three recommendations in her presentation:
“To capture the maximum benefit that projects or programmes can achieve, the definition of Value must be expanded to include elements [among others] such as: whole-life value, digital effectiveness, BIM and data capture, and capital and operational carbon emissions.
“To build on best practice and to eradicate the worst practice, public comparisons must be available. Therefore, government must put in place a framework to collect and publish cost and performance benchmark data for publically funded construction and infrastructure projects.
“With the support of BEIS industry representative groups should work together with the CLC to agree a common approach on Fair Payment, retentions and standardised pre-qualification.”
With over 35 years’ experience in the property and construction industry, working with commercial, public, and third sector clients, Ann Bentley has been a member of Rider Levett Bucknall’s (RLB) Global Board since 2012 and was the immediate past Global Chair.
The JCT Povey Lecture is an annual event at which an eminent person is invited to give their thoughts on significant matters that are relevant to the construction and property industry. The purpose of the lecture is to stimulate thought and encourage ways of continuing to improve the quality and value of construction output.
The full video of Ann Bentley’s lecture can be viewed here