RICS wants contract clarity to support construction sector
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
House Building 5
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors wants increased transparency in government construction contracts to support the growth of struggling SMEs.
RICS’ call to help small and medium-sized enterprises follows extensive consultation with members from across the sector, which highlighted the need to unlock construction pipelines, reform procurement processes and improve access and visibility of finance.
Jeremy Blackburn, Head of UK Policy at RICS, said: “Visible pipelines, complex procurement and access to finance are all major concerns for the industry as a whole and particularly SMEs. These issues are intrinsically linked and it is vital we have an overarching approach to address them.”
RICS has launched its ‘UK Construction Policy’ with recommendations to support SMEs over the next 12 months and enable a successful and sustainable construction sector for the future.
Central to RICS’ policy is a call to government to improve access to public sector construction contracts, including infrastructure repair and maintenance, by making them visible to all in the industry. To support this, RICS is producing specific guidance to aid government staff working in procurement with understanding the complexities of the construction supply chain, including early discussions with SMEs.
RICS believes the government’s current procurement process is also standing in the way of this cascading pipeline due to the high level of resources required in completing them. RICS wants simplified, publicly available Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) for use by SMEs as a corner stone of its policy document.
RICS is also recommending that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) creates a single portal for SME finance offering advice on what is on offer and how to apply.