Top QSs refuse to rule out appealing OGC decision to leave them off project management framework

Gleeds may consider an appeal after it missed out on a place on an £800m government framework, along with rival Cyril Sweett.

The two firms, which were shortlisted for the long-awaited list of recommended project managers unexpectedly failed to make the cut this week. The framework is being organised by Buying Solutions, an executive agency of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

Meanwhile, the relatively unknown firm Pick Everard, which has 390 staff, was among the 12 candidates accepted onto the four-year framework. These winners will be in with a chance of work worth £200m a year with Whitehall departments, the NHS, councils, police and other emergency services.

The successful bidders include the five incumbents: EC Harris, Gardiner & Theobald, Lend Lease Projects, Turner & Townsend and Drivers Jonas in consortium with Davis Langdon. They are joined by Capita Symonds, Faithful + Gould, Mace, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs, Rider Levett Bucknall and Pick Everard.

A Gleeds spokesperson said the firm was “surprised and disappointed not to be included”. He said: “It is early in the process. We are examining the feedback we’ve been given to see if there are areas we can learn from.”

The firm is said to be “considering its options”, which could include an appeal. Dean Webster, Cyril Sweett’s chief executive, said he was not planning a challenge, but did not rule it out. He said: “We’re assessing what they said about us before making any decisions.”

Bids from Arup, Appleyards, Carillion TPS Schal, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Mouchel and MWH also failed.

One senior consultant said: “Gleeds and Cyril Sweett are the surprising absences.”

The same thing happened with the LSC framework. Firms with a strong education record got left off.”

Buying Solutions said it was unable to comment. 

Why it matters

Getting onto the OGC framework has been high on consultants’ agenda since the body announced it was expanding the list from five to 12 teams last year. It prequalifies firms to act as project managers on capital projects for any public sector body that chooses to sign up. The framework is not compulsory but it is considered a good route into the public sector market. Current estimates value it at up to £800m over four years, although this may fall as spending is reined back.