Public procurement in the UK has changed dramatically over the last decade. The introduction of EU procurement laws (OJEU) and the subsequent UK Government sub-OJEU policies recognise the need to make the procedure more open and transparent. Whilst these policies open up more opportunities to suppliers, the drawback can be that procurement departments are overwhelmed with the increases in responses - but not for Oldham Council.
Since joining in 2010, the council has utilised its free membership with Constructionline to make its procurement processes more efficient when advertising OJEU and sub-OJEU contracts. Any suppliers responding to one of these OJEU or subOJEU tenders simply need to provide their Constructionline registration number to bypass stage one of the pre-qualification process.
On average, every pre-qualification questionnaire a supplier is required to submit for an OJEU or sub-OJEU level contract costs the buyer around £300 to review in full. Therefore, as a member of Constructionline, Oldham has made significant efficiency savings for its procurement process.
In early 2012, Oldham Council advertised 14 sub-OJEU contracts for work across a number of local schools. In total, over 1,200 supplier organisations expressed an interest to work on these contracts. Of these applications, roughly 60% were registered with Constructionline. As a result the council was able to save valuable time assessing stage one of the pre-qualification questionnaire for each of these tenders making the process quicker and more efficient.
When asked about their membership with Constructionline, Darren Judge, Construction Procurement Manager at Oldham Council said; “We use the Constructionline service to streamline our pre-qualification process. The system allows us to find and assess suppliers’ stage one PQQ status, removing the unnecessary need for repetitive questionnaire completion and paper driven submissions, all time consuming and costly exercises. This removes over half of the assessment process because Constructionline has already done this for us. With the time saved, we can dedicate our attention to the assessment of stage two application forms which demonstrate the supplier’s ability to complete the specific work required. Supplier’s credentials are also managed by Constructionline so the Council can be rest assured that policy type documents are up-to-date and managed accordingly.”