2008_Boes ea_Public procurement of local authorities in the Netherlands(1).pdf

2008_Boes ea_Public procurement of local authorities in the Netherlands(1).pdf

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PUBLIC PROCUREMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN THE NETHERLANDS: A CASE OF BREAKING TRA- DITION FOR A MORE STRATEGIC APPROACH?! 1 Hans Boes 2 and Andre Dorée University of Twente, Department of Construction Management and Engineering, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands The use of integrated contracts / innovative procurement has been a subject of debate and research in the Netherlands for the last decade and has subsequently resulted in a large research programme investigating the reform of the construction industry. At the end of the 1990"s an “Innovative Procurement” (IP) programme was implemented to increase the use of integrated contract forms. This programme was adopted by the state agencies Rijkswaterstaat, ProRail and the Rijksgebouwendienst. For these or- ganisations integrated contracts are the staring point for their procurement strategy and implementation. However, local authorities appear cautious to change their tradi- tional tendering policy towards a more strategic outsourcing policy. Several studies have been conducted, targeting/investigating changes to procurement policy over time within municipalities. The results of studies so far relating to the use of different con- tract forms and barriers for implementation by local authorities will be presented. The results show little change in policy and implementation during the last decade. Currently only a few local authorities are moving away from traditional procurement methods to using a more strategic outsourcing approach. The majority appear to be using more integrated contract forms in an experimental/incidental way but not strate- gically. Also, despite experiencing various problems with traditional contract forms, the aspiration to change policy and implementation is absent. The responsible manag- ers therefore choose a cautious and habitual approach. Yet, there is some positive movement. Due to – national - pressure on local authorities, they seem to be open to a more strategic outsourcing and tendering policy. The evaluation and discussion subsequently focuses on how a more strategic approach can be implemented given the influence of the different decision makers. Keywords: contracts, local authorities, outsourcing, policy, procurement INTRODUCTION Governments in a number of countries have taken up the development and implemen- tation of procurement policies for changing the way their national construction indus- tries function. The strategies are quite different. The UK implemented changes, fol- lowing the Latham Report (1994) – who recommended more standardised construc- tion contracts, better guidance on best practice and legislative changes to simplify dis- pute resolution - and the Egan Report (1998) – who identified five drivers which needed to be in place to secure improvement in construction: leadership; focus on the 1 Boes, J. and Dorée, A.G., Public procurement of Local Authorities in The Netherlands: a case of breaking tradition for a more strategic approach?, in 24th Annual ARCOM Conference, A. Dainty, Edi- tor. 2008, Association of Researchers in Construction Management: Cardiff, UK. p. 477-486.
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