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The government has overestimated the proportion of construction related services work suitable for compulsory compe...
The government has overestimated the proportion of construction related services work suitable for compulsory competitive tendering, says the Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities. In a SCALA report, published this week, sets out a comprehensive definition of what is involved in property management and construction related services in local government to identify core activities which should be kept in house. SCALA's definition would mean 25%-30% of such work should be exempt from competition, according to Buckinghamshire CC County Architect Eden Lee who chaired the SCALA study group. When the government first announced white collar CCT it proposed 90% of construction related services be put out to tender but subsequently commissioned Coopers & Lybrand to review the figure.

'We felt the direction taken by central government on CCT concentrated very much on the type of services which should be market tested. We felt very little attention had been given to the corollary of that - what has to be retained in house. SCALA has never been against competition although we do question whether it has to be compulsory'.

The society hopes the report will help councils identify their core functions and aid council representatives on joint DoE/association competition working parties. Functions identified as core activities include developing property management strategy; professional and technical advice to committees and management; capital and revenue programme planning; and commissioning.
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