Exclusive: RICS unveils construciton policy which calls for government to increase transparency in its construction contracts and simplify the procurement process

GCS

The RICS has called for government to increase transparency in its construction contracts and simplify the procurement process as a means to support struggling SMEs.

The RICS’ UK Construction Policy (attached right), to be launched on Friday (15 March), outlines recommended actions for government and industry to unlock construction pipelines, reform procurement processes and improve the access and visibility of finance.

The RICS said its recommendations – drawn from consultation with members from across the sector – offered “time and cost effective solutions” that, if adopted, would support SMEs over the next 12 months.

These issues are linked and it is vital we have an overarching approach to address them

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS

It added that the government needed to improve access to public sector construction contracts, including infrastructure repair and maintenance, by making them visible to all in the industry. It said this would enable smaller contracts to cascade down to SMEs and bring more work to the regions.

To help with the process, the RICS said it was producing specific guidance to aid government staff working in procurement with understanding the complexities of the construction supply chain, including early discussions with SMEs. It also recommended that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) creates a single portal for SME finance offering advice on what is on offer and how to apply.

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS head of UK policy said: “Visible pipelines, complex procurement and access to finance are all major concerns for the industry as a whole and particularly SMEs. These issues are intrinsically linked and it is vital we have an overarching approach to address them.”