In response to the recent report, titled ‘A better deal for public building’, by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment, RIBA President Angela Brady said:
‘The APPG’s report is a very welcome contribution to the on-going debate on public procurement. For too long, the culture of public procurement has been to prioritise short-term costs ahead of the long-term social, economic and environmental value that results from high quality, intelligently designed public buildings. We are pleased therefore, at the emphasis placed in the Group’s report on a “balanced scorecard”, ensuring that the design quality of buildings is a key consideration from the outset of a project.
‘The Group rightly highlights the enormous success of the procurement on the Olympic Park. The Olympics were proof of what can be achieved when clients have a clear vision and prioritise good design. It also underlines how a competitive tender process, driven through design competitions, can often encourage innovation and sustainable design solutions, whilst also encouraging access for smaller firms.
‘However, the report fails to address fully, the problems faced by many small firms in accessing public procurement contracts. The RIBA’s recent report ‘Building Ladders of Opportunity’ exposed the enormous burden placed on SMEs by an overly-bureaucratic, process-driven procurement rules and the difficulty that many firms have in even bidding for public work. The RIBA will be continuing to push for reform at both the EU and UK level of the procurement process, to ensure that some of these barriers are removed.’