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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 27 January, 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

The Construction Commitment Charter for Wales

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet of the work of the Construction Procurement Strategy Steering Group and to gain formal approval to adopt the Construction Commitment Charter for Wales.

Recommendations

1.         It is recommended that Cabinet endorses the Construction Procurement Strategy developed by the Construction Procurement Strategy Steering Group and agrees to             adopt the Construction Commitment Charter for Wales.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         In order that public construction projects are procured in a consistent and cohesive manner across the public sector in Wales.     

Background

2.         In October 2010, the Minister for Finance and leader of the Welsh Government formally launched the Constructing Excellence in Wales "No Turning Back" report. A  cross-sector Construction Procurement Strategy Steering Group  has subsequently been addressing the specific recommendations contained in the "No Turning Back" document as summarised below:

·               Clarity must be provided over public sector capital programme spend;

·               Standardisation of procurement in the public sector across Wales;

·               Commit to and  implement a new Procurement Strategy for Construction;

·               Adopt a best practice approach to payment;

·               Undertake a review of capacity and capability in public sector procurement in    Wales;

·               Strengthen the link between capital investment and sustainable benefits for Wales' local communities.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         A copy of the resulting Construction Procurement Strategy Executive Summary and Action Plan is attached Appendix A. The use of specific tools and policies are referred to in the Strategy. As the Council has previously agreed to adopt the nine principles as set out in the Welsh Government Finance Minister's Procurement Policy Statement (Minute No. C1408 refers), it is expected that these tools and policies will be used   wherever possible. This is intended to ensure that the Strategy recommendations are embedded via best practice and that there is consistency in the way that the public sector deals with construction projects and the construction industry.

4.         The Strategy seeks to outline the progress to date whilst also recognising that this will require actions in the medium and longer term. These are contained within the appended Action Plan and cover such themes as Simplification and Consistency, SMEs in Wales, Visibility of Construction Projects, Capability and Capacity of Procurement in Wales, Payment of Contractors, Use of Clear Guidelines on Quality/Value in Practice and Community Benefits.  The Appendix also details the actions that have been completed to date including:

·               Collation and publication of the first all encompassing local authority works capital programme for 2012/13;

·               Adoption of a standardised pre-qualification questionnaire for use by contractors;

·               Agreement of Welsh fair payment clauses for contractors and sub contractors;

·               Agreement to adopt the Welsh Government Community Benefits approach for   projects over £2 million;

·               Agreement to reintroduce a programme of procurement capability assessments across the public sector;

·               Development of a Commitment Charter covering both 'client side' and 'industry' commitments

·               Improved consistency of approach through application of regional frameworks

·               Integration of the above actions as part of the terms and conditions for future projects funded by Welsh Government grant funding.

5.         The Construction Commitment Charter for Wales referred to above and which is being recommended for adoption is also attached at Appendix B. The individual commitments that both public sector clients and the construction industry will adopt to support delivery of construction projects fall within six broad areas:

·               Procurement and Integration;

·               Commitment to People;

·               Client Leadership;

·               Sustainability;

·               Design Quality;

·               Health & Safety.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6.         Better procurement practices should ensure that the scarce resources available for construction projects are applied in the most economically advantageous manner..

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

7.         The Council's procurement policies, procedures and practices are underpinned by        the principle of sustainability.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.         None as a direct consequence of the report.

 Crime and Disorder Implications

9.         None as a direct consequence of the report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.      Commitment to People is a major strand of the Construction Commitment Charter for Wales.

Corporate/Service Objectives

11.      Better procurement contributes to all of the Corporate Plan priority outcomes

Policy Framework and Budget

12.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

13.      None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.      The lead Scrutiny Committee is Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Alan Jenkins

Head of Accountancy and Resource Management

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Property

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies Managing Director

01446 709202

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