Towards Achieving More Effective Construction Procurement Through Information

David Jaggar, Andrew Ross, Peter Love, Jim Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


In recent years a number of reports and studies have been carried out, each recommending, in a variety of ways, more holistic, harmonious and cooperative approaches to construction procurement, in order to achieve greater benefits to construction clients, by providing the best quality for their required projects, whilst optimizing the cost and time implications for the delivery of such projects.

As a result of pressures, led by public client bodies acting as best practice clients, there has been a move away from the traditional, financially driven competitive lump sum tendering strategies, in order to overcome the separation of design and construction, with all the various difficulties and problems such approaches bring. Today, many contracts are based on Design and Build approaches, with partnership agreements, either at project or strategic level, providing a more cooperative environment for all concerned and, equally importantly, an environment where more effective feedback is provided, thus facilitating action learning for the benefit of all. PF! type arrangements are also much in evidence, due to the need to pass the burden of funding the project from the client to the provider, allowing for much more consideration to be given to the long term use of the building, during its life.

Latest recommendations for government project procurement is the use of Prime Contracting which extends the use of Design and Build, where a single supplier is responsible for the design and construction of the facility, to one where the supplier is required to have a well established relationship with a supply chain of reliable suppliers of quality products, with the aim of providing a facility which is fit for its purpose.

Whilst recognising that improvements have taken place and are continuing to take place, in construction procurement, this paper suggests that there still remains a fundamental hurdle to overcome, that being the need to remove mistrust and uncertainty, due to the lack of transparency in project information. A further disadvantage of such opacity is that it creates the need for unnecessary translations of project information to suit the needs of the various users involved in the supply chain, from design through to hand over of the project.
This paper sets out to analyse the nature of construction information and to consider what changes are necessary, including information organisation through classification, in order to provide the necessary information resources to facilitate effective communications between the various contributors to the procurement process. Without such improvements, the drive towards greater harmony and understanding will remain largely unachievable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcurement systems & technology transfer: CIBW92 Procurement Systems Symposium
Subtitle of host publication Proceedings of the International Symposium of the Working Commission CIB W92 (Procurement Systems) in association with CIB W63 (Affordable Housing), CIB TG36 (Quality Assurance in Construction), CIb TG23 (Culture in Construction)
EditorsTimothy Michael Lewis
Place of PublicationTrinidad & Tobago
PublisherUniversity of the West Indies
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


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