B&ES has made a submission to the Treasury in advance of the Autumn Statement, which will be made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Wednesday 3 December.
Key issues addressed include the digitalisation of public sector procurement and the need for infrastructure investment in support of the Government’s Construction 2025 industrial strategy.
B&ES said the plea to the Treasury ahead of the Autumn Statement is not a request for a fiscal incentive for a installing a particular measure, nor is it with regard to policy platform.
Instead, the association is seeking cost and efficiency savings across government departments and agencies and potentially across the whole public sector.
The initiative brings together the following government strategies:
- Industrial strategy
- Digital by default
- Construction 2050
- Value for money
- Government Construction Strategy 2011
According to B&ES, its members, in qualifying to respond to public sector construction-related tender opportunities, are required to pay fees to register and submit information into numerous procurement portals.
The association said: “As well as taking up an immense amount of our members’ time, this also means a considerable waste of time on the part of the organisations that are manually checking and migrating that data. This inefficiency in the business process, therefore, could be turned round to deliver savings through reduced costs.
“Further, our members suffer from a fragile business model due to the lack of transparency in and prolonged nature of, the cash-flow cycle in the construction supply chain. To date, the impact and measurement of Government initiatives such as, project bank accounts, payment charters, prompt payment codes and revised late payment legislation are all hampered by a lack of visibility.”
B&ES would like the government to ask all public sector bodies to implement online procurement and payment.
The association argues a centralised online procurement portal system would introduce a mechanism to allow public sector clients to manage the supply chain, such that public sector payment requirements are reflected and verified through the supply chain itself.
It could also allow suppliers to manage their procurement profile and improve their procurement performance, by allowing them an opportunity to study their procurement failures.