07 August 2007 | Antony Barton
A newly-formed construction procurement consortium expects to achieve savings of up to 10 per cent on building deals.
Smarte East was developed by local authorities in east England, the Association of Chief Corporate Property Officers and the Regional Centre of Excellence East.
Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire County Councils are the initial partners. Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Peterborough and Luton councils may join them in the near future.
Peter Geall, head of construction management at Essex County Council, said the long-term workload certainty and consistency of personnel within project teams will allow best practice to be more readily identified, shared and learned. He added this will drive out waste and inefficiency resulting in savings.
The Collaborative Working Centre (CWC), the consultancy arm of Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment, will develop the strategy. Neil Jarret, chief executive of CWC, said: "The current spend committed to the regional framework is approximately £20 million in the first year but we have already identified a further £60 million. We believe the actual workload will be considerably greater."
Smarte East is a jointly owned and managed not-for-profit limited liability company. Limited company status provides all members with an equal vote on how the organisation develops and is funded.