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Contractors urged to contribute to MPs’ public procurement inquiry

Contractors may be asked to attend hearings as the industry gears up to give evidence of good procurement practice to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude (pictured).

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment has launched an inquiry into construction procurement following a meeting with Mr Maude earlier this year.

The inquiry is calling for evidence of processes that have led to better outcomes from construction projects as the group bids to improve the industry’s standing.

Secretariat for the inquiry, Construction Industry Council chief executive Graham Watts, told H&V News it was a chance to prove that the industry could contribute to the economy.

He said: “Before the government’s Plan for Growth, Mr Maude was meeting [chief construction adviser] Paul Morrell and ministers to talk about how costs could be saved. After he met the APPG, it was clear we needed examples of where things were going right, rather than bad news.

“We are trying to get away from politicians thinking this is a crap industry and show that we can be part of the Plan for Growth.”

The inquiry is seeking evidence that could encompass entire procurement mechanisms or specific aspects, such as tendering pro­cedures, pre-qualification or briefing processes.

Reports are being sought of up to a maximum of 1,500 words which set out procurement benefits in clear terms, as well as examples of innovative procurement.

The APPG is calling for each sector of the built environment, from contractors to architects, to come forward with best examples of procurement practice.

Up to 30 industry leaders and 10 MPs will be involved in the Commission of Inquiry, which will report to the APPG. Parties have until 31 August to submit evidence and a full report is expected later this year.