Background to the Managed Service
The Policy Framework for Construction Procurement sets out six key aspects of NI public procurement policy that are of particular significance to construction works and services.
In addition Procurement Guidance Notes 06/10 Procurement of Construction Works and Services and 01/12 Contract Management Principles and Procedures also include requirements for project evaluation, entailing the recording and monitoring of:
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Government Construction Clients Group - headline Key Performance Indicators
- Sustainability: CIFNI requirements Promoting Equality and Sustainable Development by Sustainable Procurement in Construction
- Health & Safety: Buildsafe-NI (2011)
In 2002, the Centres of Procurement Expertise agreed the GCCG Headline KPIs and in 2007 it was agreed that these KPIs would be recorded in the official KPI data collection database, which was the Achieving Excellence Northern Ireland (AENI) Buildsoft database.
Previous database service
This database also had the facility to record the CIFNI sustainability requirements included in contracts, initially at award stage, and subsequently those delivered at contract completion.
The contract for the provision of the AENI database service ended in September 2011.
Contract for new database service
Following a tender competition, a contract for the provision of a new Managed Service for the Performance Management of Construction Projects (the Managed Service) was awarded, to Room4 Consulting Ltd.
The Service is based on a bespoke development of Constructing Excellence’s KPI Zone tool – Kpi4Construction which is hosted on secure servers in the internet cloud. The contract is renewable annually up to a maximum term of 3 years.
Additional key policy drivers
While, in the past, the key policy driving the recording of project performance management was the Achieving Excellence initiative, there are a number of additional policy developments that will also drive future requirements:
- the Government Construction Strategy (May 2011) has requirements for value-for-money; standards and cost, benchmarking; and efficiency and elimination of waste
- the Procurement Board Strategic Plan 2011-2014 includes an objective 1 target to "implement effective scoping and governance of capital programmes and projects and an associated action to ‘benchmark performance on the delivery of projects"
- the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s Report on Public Procurement raised data related issues
- CPD responded with proposals for collecting and sharing procurement data using a data warehouse & CoPE data sharing agreements
- the NI Assembly’s Programme for Government (PfG) is to be amended to include a target that social clauses are included in all government contracts
De-minimis threshold for recording KPIs
As a minimum, the ten headline GCCG KPIs must be calculated and recorded for all construction projects with a value of £1m or more, although organisations are free to use a lower threshold.
For example, to enable the GCCG KPIs to be used for post project evaluation in line with Northern Ireland Guide to Expenditure Appraisal and Evaluation (NIGEAE), de-minimis of £500K is recommended.
(Following clarification and further detail on the forgoing policy drivers the de-minimis limit may need to be reviewed in consideration of the above policy drivers).