10 December 2007 | Helen Gilbert
A major construction framework pioneered by the South East Centre of Excellence (SECE) has scooped a prestigious award.
The framework, launched a year ago and led by Hampshire County Council on behalf of SECE, won the Finance and Procurement category of the Guardian Public Services Awards 2007 this week.
At present, the Metropolitan Police, 25 authorities and some London boroughs are using the framework, which is claimed to deliver potential efficiency savings of more than £40 million.
Andrew Smith, Hampshire County Council SECE building workstream lead, said one of the main challenges was to get different local authorities to work together across political and boundary divisions.
"We needed a regional agreement that gave economies of scale but left key decisions and management at a local level," he explained in a statement.
"The framework agreement is between the selected construction companies and Hampshire County Council, on behalf of the SECE. But individual local authorities act as employer for projects that they have commissioned through these arrangements."
Roger Latham, chairman of the Local Government Task Force on Construction, said: "The SECE framework…demonstrates best practice with authorities sharing, learning, collaborating with the supply chain and combining methods to make a real difference to the built environment and the communities they serve."