Constructing the Gold Standard

March 13, 2023
Stuart Wilson


View profile

To many working in, and with, the public sector frameworks are a cumbersome but necessary tool to enable public authorities to comply with their obligations under procurement regulations and get on with their business for up to four years.

It was Professor David Mosey CBE of the Centre of Construction Law at King’s College London, and his 2021 review of public sector frameworks ‘Constructing the Gold Standard’ that comprehensively established an alternative approach.

His approach established that, far from being a mere procurement tool, a gold standard framework could help drive innovation, efficiency and best practice for the benefit of public authorities, contractors and the wider supply chain.  Crucially, his findings were published following extensive consultation across the public sector.

The recommendations in his report set out clear guidance for a gold standard framework on a ‘comply or explain’ basis, enabling authorities to embed best practice in their strategy, procurement and contracts.

Many of the benefits are underpinned by greater collaboration at all levels of the supply chain.  Rather than individual contractors engaging their own supply chain, they are encouraged to work together with the supply chain to offer clearer and more consistent programmes of work, in turn driving improved value.

To an extent, this requires a leap of faith from contractors, who may closely guard their supply chain contacts and deals.  However, the evidence suggests, in the case studies set out in Professor Mosey’s review and an array of successful subsequent procurements that have adopted the gold standard, that many in the market are embracing the recommendations with gusto.

Not only can public authorities expect better prices from a gold standard framework, but they should be able to deliver their objectives on net zero and the wider sustainability agenda, as well as clear requirements on local employment and the development of skills.  Such benefits are much easier to deliver and monitor with a clear long-term programme that contractors can rely on and engage with.

The Construction & Engineering team at gunnercooke has extensive public sector framework procurement experience and can guide public authorities, contractors and their supply chain to achieve the gold standard. You can contact Stuart here.

To receive all the latest insights from gunnercooke to your inbox, sign up below