Procurement of public sector facilities: Views of early contractor involvement
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Purpose – The purpose of this research is to determine the perceptions of a public sector agency’s representatives who are involved in the selection of procurement methods about the benefits and barriers of implementing early contractor involvement (ECI). There have been widespread calls for the public sector to use of non-traditional delivery methods so as to obtain better “value for money”. ECI is one form of delivery approach that has begun to attract the attention of many Australian State Governments, as it allows a contractor to proactively participate in design development, risk management and the construction programming processes. Design and construction processes can also be integrated which, therefore, overcome the impediments and barriers that have conventionally existed between designers and contractor. Within Western Australia, the use of ECI has been limited and therefore perceptions about its potential application are obtained.
Design/methodology/approach – Using questionnaire surveys and follow-up semi-structured interviews, the research sought to determine the perceptions of a public sector agency’s representatives who are involved in the selection of procurement methods about the benefits and barriers of implementing ECI.
Findings – It is revealed that a significant proportion of contractors did not have the capability and experience to be involved within an ECI approach. Their preference was the use of a traditional lump-sum method. Where there was limited scope for using competitive tendering, particularly on large complex projects, then ECI could be a preferred option for future projects.
Originality/value – To date, there has been limited empirical research that examined the public sectors views on the use of ECI despite the calls for the greater use of integrated procurement methods of this nature. The research indicates that there is a need to develop strategies to better educate public sector clients, designers and contractors about how ECI can contribute to the development of innovative solutions and better value for money.
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This document has been peer reviewed.