New questionnaire aims to save time and money and simplify bidding process

The government is introducing a standard prequalification questionnaire making it simpler for firms bidding for construction contracts.

Currently construction firms may have to answer a different set of questions every time they bid for new government contracts. However, from today, a standard prequalification questionnaire is available as a free download in a bid to save time and money.

Launched today by business minister Mark Prisk, the Publicly Available Specification (PAS 91) has been developed by the British Standards Institution in partnership with the Department for Business and involvement from a number of industry groups.

Prisk said: “Ensuring that public sector procurement practices are not wasteful has always been important but the current economic climate brings that into even sharper focus. Over the next decade the new PAS 91 could save the construction industry billions of pounds”.

Estimates by the National Specialist Contractors Council put the cost to the industry and its clients of wasteful prequalification processes at £250m annually.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has already come forward calling for clients to sign up to the use of PAS 91.

Rosemary Beales, CECA national director, said: “PAS 91 arrives at a crucial moment for an industry that is being pushed to demonstrate greater and greater efficiencies”. She went on to add that PAS 91 is the key that could unlock hundreds of millions worth of savings that can be reinvested back in real construction.