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21 June 2013 | Adam Leach
Construction firms should only need to submit one pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) a year in the absence of extenuating circumstances, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The trade association issued the call as one of a series of recommendations designed to reduce the burden placed on construction firms - particularly small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) - competing for public sector contracts. It proposed that a single completed PQQ should suffice for all bids within a year unless the “relevant circumstances” of a firm had changed or the contract required information not included in a standard PQQ.
Commenting on the administrative burden created by PQQs, an FMB member, said: “A huge amount of time and energy is required to engage in the pre-qualification process. Our company employs four administrative staff who spend much of their time completing PQQs and therefore we are relatively successful, but many SMEs do not have this type of office-based support.”
The FMB also called for PAS 91, a standardised construction PQQ produced by the BSI, to be used by all public sector bodies carrying out construction procurements. It also pledged to provide support and guidance in completing PQQs to construction firms.
Improving public procurement for construction SMEs, published this week, also recommended that public sector clients mandate that first tier suppliers pay second tier suppliers within 30 days of terms and that the public sector collaborate with the construction industry to aid SMEs in building bidding consortia. The report also proposed that feedback should be provided to unsuccessful bidding firms within 15 days of a request for feedback being lodged.