17 October 2010 | Angeline Albert
Complex procurement practices are deterring most suppliers from bidding for public sector work according to the National Federation of Builders (NFB).
Inefficient tendering is among the main complaints from members of the NFB, which includes the Electrical Contractors' Association, the Federation of Master Builders and the National Specialist Contractors' Council.
Some 49 per cent of the 652 members said they struggled with the pre-qualification process set down by buyers.
Almost a quarter of suppliers said they would spend a month out of every year completing pre-qualification forms and the cost sometimes proved too high. The report said suppliers were often asked the same question in number of ways at the pre-qualification stage, thereby increasing the time and cost.
“The process actually dissuades suppliers, particularly SME’s from bidding for work. If this happens buyers may not get the value for money they seek because a supplier has chosen not to bid,” said a spokesman for the NFB.
“With the spending review coming up, we have told the government to look at the value construction brings.”
Some 79 per cent of respondents reported worse success rates at winning public sector work, when compared to 2007.