Report makes 24 recommendations to improve efficiency

Many construction frameworks are costly, waste time and are confusing, a new report has said.

The independent review of public sector construction frameworks led by Professor David Mosey of King’s College London’s Centre of Construction Law has developed a new “gold standard” to help tackle these issues.

The review said: “Significant cost and time are wasted by public sector clients and bidders procuring multiple, speculative construction frameworks that are not connected to specific pipelines of work.

Busy construction site in Leicester in May 2021

Source: Shutterstock

Frameworks need to be better run and more efficient, the report said

“Review participants report average bid costs for each major framework of over £247,000 for contractors and over £130,000 for consultants, with a maximum of up to £1m in each case.”

The standard sets out how both the government and the construction industry must work together to tackle waste, secure value for money and drive innovation to achieve better, faster, safer and greener outcomes.

The move will help to drive consistency across major government projects and support the whole supply chain, meaning major schemes do not fall behind and small businesses have a greater chance of securing government business.

The review has put 24 recommendations in place, which must be met by both developers and the public sector.

These standards will help guarantee projects have improved efficiency and innovation, increased safety standards, a focus on net zero carbon and social value targets.

The gold standard will need to be met by all future construction frameworks and recommends actions to improve value under existing frameworks.

The review is a result of the Construction Playbook, which was launched by the Cabinet Office last year and looked at public sector construction frameworks with a combined value of £180bn and considered more than 120 written submissions and 50 interviews.


  1. Use the Gold Standard features of frameworks, framework contracts and action plans to measure Construction Playbook implementation on a ‘comply or explain’ basis
  2. Ensure that all gold standard features are adopted by clients and suppliers when comparing the different construction frameworks on offer
  3. Require that all public sector construction frameworks prioritise safety, net zero carbon and the compact with industry
  4. Reduce procurement costs, improve value and reduce risks by wider adoption of a standard form gold standard framework alliance contract
  5. Create contractually binding gold standard action plans to convert framework objectives into actions and timetables that deliver improved economic, social and environmental outcomes
  6. Invest in framework management that demonstrates value for money for clients and suppliers
  7. Capture improved value by identifying SME strengths and use supply chain collaboration systems to maximise social value
  8. Avoid wasted procurement costs and improve supplier commitments by ensuring that frameworks offer sustainable pipelines of work
  9. Use pre-procurement framework consultation to explore emerging technologies and innovations and to identify opportunities in the market
  10. Reduce procurement costs and improve value through the award of longer-term call-off contracts and the incentive of additional work
  11. Improve supplier investments in MMC and other offsite technologies by awarding framework call-off contracts for portfolios of work
  12. Create a whole life golden thread of asset information using BIM and other digital technologies integrated under a framework alliance contract
  13. Improve economic, social and environmental outcomes through framework early supply chain involvement, using supply chain collaboration systems in all framework contracts
  14. Incentivise innovative solutions by creating specifications for frameworks and call-offs that focus on required client outcomes
  15. Use delivery model assessments to inform and support framework strategies, procurement, contracting, management and call-off
  16. Assess and control the costs of framework deliverables through the use of evidence-based benchmarks and whole life should cost models
  17. Integrate the mutual commitments of framework providers, clients, managers and suppliers through the terms of a gold standard framework alliance contract
  18. Allocate risks based on framework market engagement and use joint framework systems for early risk mitigation and efficient responses to risk events
  19. Create transparent pricing mechanisms for frameworks and call-offs that maximise cost certainty and ensure prompt payment
  20. Reduce procurement costs by consistent and proportionate assessment of economic and financial standing using ‘PAS91’ or the ‘Common Assessment Standard’
  21. Evaluate proposals for frameworks and call-offs proportionately and consistently using balanced criteria that include quality, social value and net zero GHG emissions
  22. Establish shared and transparent framework systems through which to manage and mitigate the risks of a supplier’s financial distress
  23. Improve framework outcomes by creating collaborative systems for the management of framework relationships and strategic supply chain relationships
  24. Support the adoption of gold standard frameworks, framework contracts and action plans through government-led training and guidance