Minister urged to use review of scheme to replace competitive tendering with Egan-style procurement

The industry has called on the government to use its review of the City Academies programme to introduce contracting frameworks.

Sources close to the project have called on Lord Adonis, the education minister in charge of the review, to select a number of contractors to build all the projects, instead of going out to tender for each one.

Jim Lomas-Farley, a director at Miller Construction, said: “I can’t see why the education department wouldn’t do it. It enables you to learn from the last project you did. The department has procured the academies by competitive tender, and has rather gone against the Egan agenda. It’s better to have a smaller group of approved firms.”

Adonis: Reviewing City Academies
Adonis: Reviewing City Academies

One QS said that several of the private sector “sponsors” of the academies, which provide £2m initial funding for each academy, were setting up their own frameworks.

CABE has sent out a message. We were first in the firing line

Source at Urban Living

The source said: “Several of the sponsors that want to do more than one academy have been thinking about setting up their own frameworks. We’ve been lobbying the department for an overall framework because, with bidding costs at £50,000 for a single stage, there’s a lot to be gained.”

The industry has been surprised by the sluggish pace of the programme in the wake of the election. Insiders are concerned that the education department might be tempted to bring the academies programme into the £5.1bn Building Schools for Future programme to refurbish every secondary school.

Building understands that the government is considering this, even though it could cause difficulties over procurement.