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Government announces BSF procurement reforms

The government has approved changes to the procurement process of the £45 billion Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme that it claims could slash bid costs by up to 30 per cent.

Partnership for Schools (PfS), the body responsible for the delivery of BSF, hopes to speed the process up through reducing the number of bidders more quickly and reducing the amount of design during the bid.

The measures could save more than £250 million and include:

• Reduction in the overall procurement time – down to 75 weeks from 82-weeks

• More comprehensive pre-qualification of bidding consortia;

• Two lead bidders are selected earlier in the process, after 29 weeks rather than 44 weeks;

• Time and cost savings in the design process, with sample schemes only required for two projects, and a re-focusing of time for detailed development and completion of design work.

PfS chief executive Tim Byles said: ‘Overall the new process will maintain and improve competition across the programme and increase the certainty that individual projects will help deliver educational transformation.

‘For me, this is the most important outcome of all, that young people, teachers and their communities will benefit from their new learning environments earlier than was previously possible.’

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