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Independent review of construction frameworks to establish ‘gold standard’, identify standard contract terms

The Cabinet Office has launched an independent review into construction frameworks as part of the implementation of the ‘Construction Playbook’.

The review, which will be led by Professor David Mosey of King’s College London, is expected to lead to recommendations for:

  • the components of a ‘gold standard’ against which new proposed frameworks and framework contracts can be measured
  • standard contract terms that support the new gold standard
  • training packages to enable adoption of the new gold standard.

“This will enable contracting authorities to easily identify those frameworks which meet best practices and embody the policies set out in the playbook,” the Cabinet Office said.

It added: “This review recognises the potential of frameworks as a powerful engine-room for implementing Construction Playbook policies that include strategic planning, integrated teams, continuous improvement and the delivery of better, safer, faster and greener project outcomes.”

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The Construction Playbook was launched on 8 December 2020 containing 14 policy reforms intended to enable ‘faster, better, greener’ construction by transforming how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered.

The Cabinet Office said one of these key policy reforms was ‘Effective Contracting’, designed to ensure that contracts are structured to support an exchange of data, collaboration, improve value and manage risk with clear expectations for continuous improvement and consistent with the principles contained within the Construction Playbook.

It noted that across the public and private sectors, there were a wide variety of construction frameworks and a lack of clear guidance as to their preferred structure and ‘best practice’ features. “As a result, the potential of frameworks is not always well expressed or well understood and they are not always successful in delivering their aims.”

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