Procurement problems will be main focus of the newly launched Public Sector Construction Clients’ Forum

Nine top public sector clients have banded together to improve procurement on key building programmes over the next 10 years.

The Office of Government Commerce, which monitors procurement across government, set up the Public Sector Construction Clients’ Forum (PSCCF), which met for the first time last month.

This follows concerns that big public sector projects, such as Building Schools for the Future and PFI hospitals, are not being delivered fast enough.

The forum will also scrutinise the industry’s capacity to deliver high-profile programmes, such as the Olympics and housing in designated growth areas, such as the Thames Gateway.

The forum contains the heads of the most important government clients, including Defence Estates, the Highways Agency, CABE, and the health and education departments.

Industry big hitters include:

The forum will address strategic construction procurement issues for the public sector

Sir Christopher Kelly, chair of the PSCCF

  • Peter Coates, deputy director of finance-investment at the Department of Health
  • Archie Robertson, chief executive of the Highways Agency,
  • Elizabeth Whatmore, head of the DTI construction sector unit
  • Sally Brooks, head of Schools Capital & Building at the Department for Education and Skills
  • Steven Douglas, deputy chief executive of the Housing Corporation
  • Richard Simmons, chief executive of CABE
  • Vice Admiral Peter Dunt, chief executive of Defence Estates

The forum is intended to build on recommendations made in Sir Christopher Kelly’s 2003 report Increasing Competition and Long Term Capacity Planning and the National Audit Office report in March 2005 Improving Public Services through better construction.

Kelly, who chaired the group’s first meeting said: “This forum will provide the opportunity to address strategic construction procurement issues affecting the whole of the public sector from a client perspective. It is an exciting opportunity for me particularly to see the recommendations from my earlier collaboration with OGC on my 2003 report coming to fruition in the construction sector.”

John Oughton, OGC’s chief executive said: “The NAO identified £2.6bn value for money gains that could be achieved through better construction.

“By championing the OGC’s Achieving Excellence in Construction best practice

principles, the forum will encourage the public sector to increase the £800m gains already achieved.”