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RIAI Takes Action on Public Sector Procurement

Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011

Throughout the EU, architects are complaining about the exclusionary nature of public sector procurement. With declining commissions, the issue is particularly imperative in Ireland. The RIAI has taken action to deal with the procurement crisis. “Since May of this year, the Institute has been working with Integrated Project Managers to evaluate the Department of Finance guidelines for the appointment of construction consultants with the objectives of simplifying and streamlining the systems so as to reduce costs for applicants and the State, to improve access for SMEs, and to provide, ultimately, a better quality built environment outcome”, illustrates RIAI Director John Graby.

Particular emphasis has been placed on non-subjective quality evaluation so that architects can show their track record in quality design. A series of matrixes have been prepared to allow public sector clients to evaluate similar building types. Currently, firms are being either excluded for not having produced the same building types or given higher marks. “The first draft will be road-tested by various architects and consultations will be held with Department Education and Skills and with Government in general so as to feed into a fairer, most cost effective and more open procurement system”, says John Graby. Further updates to follow.

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