20 December 2017 – Revision of Public Procurement Directives’ thresholds with effect from 1 January 2018:

The EU Commission has revised the Public Procurement Directive’s thresholds resulting in an increase in the thresholds for advertising in the Official Journal of the EU which comes into effect on 1 January 2018.

The thresholds will apply from 1 January 2018. The details are set out in the attached table. EU Thresholds for advertising in the Official Journal of the EU applicable from 1 January 2018

21 November 2017 – Government Strategy to Increase use of Digital Technology in Key Public Works Projects Launched

Building Information Modelling (BIM) to be required in the design, construction and operation of public buildings and infrastructure over the next 4 years

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohue, T.D. and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D. today set out the Government’s strategy for the increased use of digital technology in the delivery of key public works projects that are funded through the public capital programme.

The strategy will see public bodies establishing requirements for the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the design, construction and operation of public buildings and infrastructure on a phased basis over the next 4 years, commencing with the larger, more complex projects, where those operating at that scale are already working through BIM. A BIM model comprises a digital dataset of all the information associated with a project’s development from the early design stage through to its operation.

Minister O’Donovan said ‘BIM is fast becoming an essential requirement for informed consumers of construction services internationally, and many countries have established BIM requirements at a national level.  It has already been successfully used on a number of complex building projects completed in Ireland in recent years, primarily in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors.  It is also being used on the National Children’s Hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus, on the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Grangegorman Campus and across the Public Private Partnership programme.’

At a European level, the significant efficiencies that BIM brings to project delivery and operation are recognised.  The 2014 Procurement Directive makes provision for its use and the European Commission has established the EU BIM Task Group to deliver a common European network aimed at aligning the use of BIM in public works.  The publication of the Task Group’s Handbook for the Introduction of BIM by Europe’s Public Sector Community at the end of June is timely in the context of the Government’s strategy.

The Government strategy has a two-fold objective, firstly to manage the adoption of BIM in an orderly fashion across the public capital programme, reducing the disruption that such change processes can bring both within the public sector and to the consultants and contractors that are engaged thereunder.  The second objective is to act as a catalyst for its wider adoption across the industry generally.  The sustained period of growth in the construction sector affords an opportunity to introduce these requirements in a managed fashion to enable industry to adapt to the new processes and procedures that BIM requires.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

A BIM model comprises a digital dataset of all the information associated with a project’s development in a manner which can be exploited for a variety of purposes:

In the early feasibility and design stages it provides the information to drive 3-dimensional visual representations of the completed facility, improving the decision-making and consultation processes.  This also reduces the potential for changes that often must be made during the construction phase as clients and designers get an accurate spatial representation of the reality.  It also allows for analysis of whole life costs; energy and structural performance, and lighting and ventilation strategies.

In the construction stage a BIM model has the capacity to cut down on waste in a number of ways.  The information in the model can be used to sequence work to a far greater degree than is currently possible, which facilitates material ordering and allows greater scope for off-site fabrication, thereby reducing waste.  This in turn reduces the down time and rework which often arises due to poor information co-ordination.  The as-built reality of the can also be more accurately recorded through photographs linked to building elements at key inspection stages before work is covered up.

In the operation phase the information contained in the model can inform the maintenance and operation regime and help pinpoint under-performance from the targets set prior to construction.

The Government has been actively promoting digital uptake in the construction sector for many years, with Enterprise Ireland (EI) being the lead agency in this regard.  EI has funded awareness and promotion across the construction industry, through industry bodies such as the Construction Information Technology Alliance.  A number of research programmes and reports on the level of BIM uptake and sector readiness across Ireland and globally has been undertaken with the support of EI and they have also supported individual businesses on their digital transition, as part of their mentoring programme to Irish businesses.  This has enabled these businesses to compete and win contracts overseas where the BIM requirement is established. In 2016, EI established the National BIM Council whose role is to develop a national road map to optimise the successful implementation of BIM in Ireland.  That roadmap is due for publication on the 1st December.

The Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC) undertook a consultation process with public bodies involved in the delivery of the capital programme and an industry-wide consultation on the basis of a position paper that was published in March 2017.  The position paper is available to download here.  The submissions received as part of the consultation are available here.  The submissions were considered before setting out recommendations to Government on the high level strategy.

Development of tools, template documents and contract protocols that will form the backbone of the requirements for BIM on public sector projects will be undertaken over the coming months under the direction of the GCCC and the Office for Government Procurement, before being officially launched.  Professionals across the project delivery spectrum of the public service will be involved in developing these requirements.

16 August 2017 – Method of Measurement for Road Works

The term ‘Method of Measurement for Road Works’ is included in a number of the CWMF procurement templates and guidance material. It refers to the method of measurement that is required to be used on schemes funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). It has been brought to our attention that the title of this document has been changed. The revised title is now Requirements for Measuring and Pricing (RMP).

From today the following templates have been updated to include the revised reference where the Bill of Quantities or Pricing Document requires definition:

Suitability Assessment Questionnaires:
QW1 (v2.0)
QW4 (v1.0)

Forms of Tender and Schedules:
FTS3 (v2.2)
FTS5 (v2.2)
FTS13 (v1.0)

Instead of ‘Method of Measurement for Road Works’ the reference is now to ‘TII’s Requirements for Measuring and Pricing (RMP).’

Guidance Note GN 1.5.3 (v1.2) has also been amended to update this reference.

The revision references for these documents have not been changed since these changes are not considered material.

23 June 2017 – Publication of Submissions received on the position paper ‘A Public Sector BIM Adoption Strategy’

Further to news item dated 15 March 2017 – Commencement of a consultation process on the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) on public works projects, the submissions received as part of the consultation process on the position paper ‘A Public Sector BIM Adoption Strategy’ are available to download here.

All respondents submitted a completed questionnaire whereas some included supplementary submissions.  Both are published where applicable.

25 April 2017 – Short Public Works Contract PW-CF6 v1.10

Amendments were made to the Public Works Contracts including the Short Public Works Contract (PW-CF6) in June 2016 to reflect the provisions of the Construction Contracts Act (News item 28 June 2016 refers).

A new clause 4.3 was added to PW-CF6 v1.9 (dated 30 June 2016) detailing the procedure for processing final statements and payment following Substantial Completion certification. All remaining sub clauses within clause 4 were renumbered accordingly.  However there was a reference in (the re-numbered) clause 4.6, which had not been updated at that time and this has now been corrected in PW-CF6 v1.10 (dated 25 April 2017).

15 March 2017 – Commencement of a consultation process on the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) on public works projects.

Building Information Modelling or BIM provides a means of structuring the information required to design, build and manage building and infrastructure assets.  In so doing it offers opportunities to deliver efficiencies and savings in the construction and operation of built assets that are owned or managed by the State on behalf of its citizens.  It is incumbent on public bodies to consider how its implementation may be managed in a manner that allows all those involved in the delivery of construction projects (both in the public and private sectors) to prepare for the adoption of the processes and the associated tools so they may continue to contribute to the delivery of projects funded under the public capital programme.

Following consultation with public bodies engaged in public works projects, the Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC) has prepared a position paper for the purposes of inviting responses from industry.  The position paper titled ‘A Public Sector BIM Adoption Strategy’ outlines the context and rationale for the adoption of BIM and puts forward a proposed timeline for adoption.

The position paper ‘A Public Sector BIM Adoption Strategy’ is available to download here.

Responses are invited to the Position Paper from interested parties and individuals.  These should be submitted by email to publicworkscontractsreview@per.gov.ie by close of business on Thursday, 13 April 2017.

A template response document is available to download here.

Those submitted after the deadline will be accepted but the views expressed therein may not be considered in the final strategy.

Respondents are also asked to note that responses received by the Office of Government Procurement will be published on the Construction Procurement Reform website within a month of the closing date for submissions.

12 January 2017 – Instructions to Tenderers

Please note that the links to the Public Works Contracts on the Construction Procurement Reform website in the Particulars Section of the following Instructions to Tenderers have been amended to reflect the mandatory requirement for contracting authorities to use the amended forms of Public Works Contracts with a cited revision reference commencing with v2 on all works procurements commencing from 9th January 2017.  As this is an administrative amendment only, there is no change to the version number or date of the documents.

  • ITTW 1 v2.1 dated 4th July 2016
  • ITTW1a v1.1 dated 4th July 2016
  • ITTW2 v2.1 dated 4th July 2016
  • ITTW1 v1.8 dated 4th July 2016
  • ITTW2 v1.5 dated 4th July 2016

10 January 2017 – Amended Forms of Public Works Contracts

Further to the news item published on 22 December 2016, it is now mandatory for contracting authorities to use the amended forms of Public Works Contracts with a cited revision reference commencing with v2 on all works procurements commencing from 9th January 2017. These contracts and their associated pre-qualification questionnaires, instructions to tenderers, forms of tender, and model forms are available to download under Pillars 1 and 3 respectively.

Where the deadline for receipt of tenders for works is after 8 January 2017, sanction must be formally applied for and obtained from the Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC) for use of the latest versions of the conditions of the Public Works Contracts (PW-CF1 – PW-CF5 inclusive), their associated Instructions to Tenderers and Forms of Tender and Schedule with a cited revision reference commencing with v1.  Click on the link to Circular 1/16 – Derogation Documents to access these documents and the associated QW1 suitability assessment questionnaire, where applicable.

9 January 2017 – Amendment to Employer designed public works contract to cater for tendered rate of delay costs of named Specialists

The amended forms of Employer designed public works contracts (PW-CF1, PW-CF3 & PW-CF5) include new arrangements for direct tendering to specialist works contractors who are to be appointed by the main contractor – Reserved Specialists.  The arrangement for novating Specialist works contractors to the main contractor continues to be available under the amended forms of public works contract.  Both types of specialists are known as ‘named Specialists’ and, where applicable, the categories of specialist works will be listed in the Form of Tender and Schedule, part 1F (iii).  If novated Specialists are to apply, the identity of the specialists to be novated will also be provided in part 1F (iii) where they have been appointed.

A separate tender competition is held for Reserved Specialists where they respond independently to the tendered hourly rates, tendered percentage addition for costs of materials, tendered percentage addition/deduction for costs of plant and tendered rate of delay costs.  Because the tender deadline for the main contract is in advance of that for the Reserved Specialists, tendering main contractors will not be aware of the rates that the Reserved Specialists are applying in their tender response.  Sub-clause 10.6 was amended to reflect this but sub-clause 10.7 was not amended at the time of publication of v2.0 to reflect that the same position is to apply to calculating the Delay Cost should it arise under the Contract.

Whilst the tender for a novated Specialist (and their appointment) will typically take place in advance of the main contract, the same principle will apply.  Tendering main contractors are only to take account of their own costs when responding to the Form of Tender and Schedule, part 2D, where named Specialists are to apply to an Employer designed public works contract.

Sub-clause 10.7.1 (1) has now been amended to clarify that where sub-clause 10.7.1(1) applies to the Delay Cost calculation under the Contract then, in calculating the sum due to the Contractor, the tendered rate of delay costs of the named Specialist must be taken into account where the named Specialist works are delayed by a Compensation Event under the Contract between the Employer and the [main] Contractor.

Notes have also been inserted into FTS1, FTS3 & FTS5 to further clarify the position to main contractors when they are preparing their tender response.