Sunand Prasad, the RIBA president, said he would seek further reforms of the procurement of the £45bn school building programme after the government this week approved a series of proposals designed to speed up the process.
The measures, originally put forward in February, are intended to cut up to £250m off the cost of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme overall, and 30% off bid costs, and include:
• Reducing overall procurement time to 75 weeks from 82
• Reducing the process to two bidders after 29 weeks, rather than the current 44 weeks
• Requiring only two sample schemes.
However, schools delivery agency Partnerships for Schools (PfS) has resisted calls from some architects to integrate more early design work by the client into the procurement process, in line with so-called “smart PFI”.
Prasad said: “We’re disappointed the opportunity has not been taken to properly streamline the process. We put forward proposals that should have been given a trial.”
PfS is now to review the operational phase of BSF.