Public Sector Frameworks: Adding Value and Community Benefits

Peter Masonbrook
Collaborative framework options provide the public sector with straightforward and cost-effective design and construction solutions.

The public sector has increasingly turned to frameworks in recent years and this looks set to continue as the drive for greater efficiency and value for money continues. These usually work in one of two ways: a selected list of approved providers who compete in mini competitions to actually win projects, or a sole provider who delivers all services throughout the duration of the framework, based on pre-tendered rates. Under the Scape Asset Management, Surveying and Design Services Framework (AMSandDS), the requirement to tender services is removed.

Throughout the framework duration, the aim is to develop efficiencies in time and cost whilst maintaining and often improving overall quality. Frameworks offer wider opportunity for more integrated working, supporting local economies, and promoting community engagement and social economic investment. They are an obvious and proven answer to managing the wide range of public sector property challenges at a time when staff numbers and, consequently, client expertise are reducing as a result of this age of austerity.

Frameworks offer wider opportunity for more integrated working, supporting local economies, and promoting community engagement and social economic investment.

Faithful+Gould is currently working alongside local authority controlled company Scape, as the sole supplier on their four year AMSandDS framework. The framework delivers all property related professional services such as estate masterplanning and valuations, building and energy surveys, through to design, BIM and BREEAM services. 

The framework requires us to measure our performance – this would be expected with all major national frameworks. The difference is that not only do we measure the standard performance metrics of time, quality, cost and health & safety compliance, we also help support the local community. We focus on unlocking the potential of local people, schools, universities, graduates, assets and resources, ensuring that Faithful+Gould, in turn, gives back to the community.

We focus on unlocking the potential of local people, schools, universities, graduates, assets and resources...

To achieve this, we have signed up to 92 commitments which provide evidence of corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, training and development. This is working well, as shown in our results for Oct 2012 to March 2014, displayed below.

Some examples achieved:

  • 20+ work placements

  • 10 school leavers/graduates recruited into professional careers commensurate with the services provided under the AMSandDS framework

  • 2000+ students hours on lectures (at colleges and universities, supporting the professional institutes such as RICS and CIOB) and work experience

  • 92% of services on framework delivered by suppliers within 35 miles of client

  • 80% of supply chain are SMEs

The benefits of including these 'soft' measures:

Optimising the benefit and return on investment of the local pound: using local suppliers means that local economies receive a significant boost from our presence in their communities.

Bringing investment back into the region: we maximise the opportunity for continued investment and development in local schools and universities, by recruiting graduates, engaging with children in local schools and promoting work placements.

Evidence of a value driven framework: clients benefit from this competitive and committed approach, with demonstrable case studies and proven commitment to local investment.

High level of accountability: as the framework is a single sourced framework, Faithful+Gould has a high degree of responsibility and accountability. We report back to Scape on a quarterly basis, demonstrating our success in meeting and exceeding our commitment targets, through robust KPI’s, benchmarks and performance measures.

Continuous improvement: by monitoring progress towards our commitments, we continually refine our business objectives, thus improving outcomes for clients. We can readjust and refocus where necessary, again benefiting all stakeholders including the local community.

Contractual obligation: our contract with Scape requires us to have clear processes, efficient methods of assessing our commitments, and robust data collection procedures. We continually use the data to make improvements and show how we support the local environment. Clients can therefore be assured that these things are happening.

Good communication: by monitoring and reporting on the commitments, we inform our clients, potential clients, Scape and our staff about how well we are performing against the framework. An effective commitment target helps us to:

  • Monitor our commitments to judge how well we are doing

  • Meet our goals and ensure our clients are satisfied

  • Take action to continuously exceed our commitment objectives and stakeholder expectations

Our commitment and CSR data provides information that facilitates informed decisions. The reporting enables conversations about business priorities, the allocation of resources, ways to best help a client meet their objectives, an accurate assessment of project effectiveness and more importantly real and tangible benefits back to the local community.

Scape has developed a unique suite of national professional services and contractor frameworks which can work together or independently of each other to suit the client. As a single-source framework partner, Faithful+Gould collaborates closely with Scape to deliver significant benefits for public sector clients and their end users.

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