I enjoyed the interview with Steven Morgan of BAA (26 June, page 26), but it was easy to misinterpret what he had to say about frameworks and collaborative working
I do not think his approach justifies the Leader headline: “Is partnering dead?” That is to misunderstand what partnering was and is about. Frameworks are but one aspect of the approach, and should not be confused with negotiation or a soft touch. Nobody from Egan onwards has advocated anything other than fierce competition. Where we have differed is that we want the right sort of competition, based on quality, trust and whole-life costs and values. We want a partnering that procures the whole team, instead of a lowest price bidding “game” and sequential risk dumping down the supply chain. A focus on driving down price will eventually drive out quality and replace it with confrontation, and we all know that the “old school” will take us back to the old ways.
Collaborative working as a means to drive out wasted cost and deliver better value has never been more important, and competition – on the right basis – will deliver this.
Don Ward, chief executive, Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment