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MOD invites tenders for UK construction projects

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has invited 10 private sector companies to begin tendering for a new framework agreement to deliver construction projects across the UK defence estate.

The companies shortlisted for the framework are: Balfour Beatty Group; BAM Construction; Carillion Construction (trading as Carillion UK Construction); Interserve Construction; Kier Graham; Lend Lease Construction (EMEA); Miller Construction (UK); Morgan Sindall; Skanska UK; and Wates Construction.

The National Capital Works Framework will be used for the design and build of construction projects up to a value of £50m. It will include up to five companies who will participate in ‘mini-competitions’ for individual projects. It is due to be awarded before the end of 2013 and run for an initial four-year period, with the potential to extend for up to three years.

The framework forms part of the DIO Next Generation Estate Contracts (NGEC) programme, and will operate alongside six regional capital works frameworks for projects valued below £12m. It has an estimated value of between £250m and £400m over the four-year period and could be used at any site across the UK estate.

The shortlisted companies today attended a bidders’ conference at the Defence Academy Shrivenham focused on the tendering process and on the proposed operating model for the framework. Delegates were also taken step-by-step through a typical Defence construction project, looking at processes involved, legislative influences, sustainability and other requirements.

Each tender will be rigorously evaluated based on the company’s approach to commercial and technical matters such as supply chain management, quality assurance, sustainable development, health & safety, and issues relating to the Government Construction Strategy. The tenderers have also been provided with a demonstration construction project and will be evaluated on their proposed approach to its delivery.

Steve Rice, head of the NGEC Programme, said: “Changes to UK military basing arrangements are expected to generate requirements for new capital works in the years ahead, and it is vital these are met flexibly and cost-effectively, enabling us to provide a Defence estate which meets military needs and supports our Armed Forces. Early in the NGEC programme, our research determined that framework arrangements were the best mechanism to achieve this, and I am delighted that we have such a strong field of companies in the competition.”

Jon Wooden, NGEC Capital Works Frameworks project manager, said: “This national framework is designed to deliver a range of potential major construction projects to support the Defence frontline. We are determined to ensure firstly that all companies involved in the tendering process have a full and robust understanding of the potential demand, and secondly that we use the evaluation process to identify the best providers to meet that demand.”

The NGEC Capital Works Frameworks are designed to support the Government Construction Strategy by reducing costs, improving value for money, and incorporating measures such as the ‘NEC3’ form of procurement, more focused performance management, and continuous improvement mechanisms. For all projects contractors will be required to use systems that meet UK government requirements for Building Information Modelling (BIM).

The framework contractors will also be required to observe Fair Payment practices and – where decided appropriate on a project by project basis – Project Bank Accounts will be set up to ensure prompt payment for all supply chain companies involved.

Tenders are due to be returned by mid-February 2013 and it is expected that the National Capital Works Framework agreements will be awarded before the end of 2013.

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