The Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC) has concluded their series of information sessions on the proposed amendments to the public works contracts.
The information sessions included an overview of the objectives that underpin the public works contracts, a summary of the review process itself, the rationale behind the interim amendments and detailed descriptions of the amended conditions of contract. The sessions also provided an opportunity to put questions to representatives of the GCCC on the conditions of contract and other aspects covered by the Capital Works Management Framework.
Copies of the presentations from the information sessions are now available here.
In July of last year, in response to an appeal of a High Court decision not to lift the suspension of the award of a public contract, the Supreme Court held that the Remedies Regulations* did not give the court jurisdiction to lift the suspension of a contract award in the circumstances where an unsuccessful tenderer or candidate initiates proceedings to review the decision of a contracting authority to award a public contract. An ‘automatic suspension’ effectively applies until the High Court reaches a decision on the substantive issue.
The Remedies Regulations allow tenderers or candidates who feel that a procurement process was not carried out in an open, fair and transparent manner the option of seeking recourse from the courts.
SI 130 and 131 have been amended to give leave to contracting authorities to apply to the courts to lift the ‘automatic suspension’ and to give the High Court jurisdiction to lift an ‘automatic suspension’ should it see fit to do so.
The amending Regulations (listed below) are available under Regulations on this website and are also published on the Oireachtas website under 2015 Statutory Instruments
- S.I. No. 192/2015 – European Communities (Public Authorities Contracts) (Review Procedures) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.
- S.I. No. 193/2015 – European Communities (Award of Contracts by Utility Undertakings) (Review Procedures) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.
*SI 130 and 131 of 2010 which transpose the Remedies Directives into Irish law
The review of the performance of the public works contracts was published in December 2014. Arising out of that review, a series of interim amendments are being implemented which will amend the current conditions of contract used to deliver public works projects.
The Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC) is hosting a series of information sessions on the amended forms of public works contracts which are due to be published in July.
The sessions will include an overview of the objectives that underpin the public works contracts, a summary of the review process itself, the rationale behind the interim amendments and detailed descriptions of the amended conditions of contract. The sessions will also provide an opportunity to put questions to representatives of the GCCC on the conditions of contract and other aspects covered by the Capital Works Management Framework.
The venues and dates are as follows:
1. Carlow Institute of Technology
||15 June 2015
2. Sligo Institute of Technology
||18 June 2015
3. Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
||19 June 2015
4. University College Cork
||22 June 2015
5. Trinity College Dublin
||26 June 2015
6. Trinity College Dublin
||29 June 2015
Each date will consist of a morning and afternoon session. The morning session, from 10.00am to 1.00pm, is for public sector officials directly involved in the delivery of public works contracts either in contract administration or contract management. The afternoon session, from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, is primarily for contractors and consultants.
The Information Sessions are free of charge but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Admission will only be possible with a booking confirmation that will be issued by email.
Please bring a copy of your email confirmation with you on the day.
To register for one of the Information Sessions please click on the link below.
Registration for Information Sessions
The Office of Government Procurement today published a document titled Implementation of the interim measures to amend the Public Works Contracts. Its publication marks the conclusion of a series of bilateral meetings with identified industry stakeholders which have been ongoing since the report on the Review of the Performance of the Public Works Contracts was published in December 2014.
The document summarises the detailed amendments it is proposed to make to the conditions of contract to give effect to 3 of the 4 interim measures set out in Report on the Review of the Performance of the Public Works Contract published in December 2014. Draft wording of the conditions is not included at this stage but rather the intent of the new/amended conditions is set out. Comments on the measures as they are outlined may be sent by close of business Friday, 1 May 2015 to: firstname.lastname@example.org. A final meeting with industry stakeholders will be held early in June after the draft conditions of contract are circulated in late May.
Please note that these measures are still in a development phase and are subject to amendment.
In relation to the 4th interim recommendation (Recommendation No. 3) – A MEAT award for contracts in excess of €2m – industry stakeholders have been invited to participate on a working group to develop award criteria. The group will be chaired by the Office of Government Procurement and will aim to report by the end of July of this year.
At this stage in the process the proposed publication date for the new forms of contract is June 2015. Transitional arrangements will apply to facilitate the change associated with Interim Recommendation No.1. This will apply to circumstances where the consultants’ scope of services did not include a requirement for a bill of quantities to the standard of one of the standard methods of measurement. However contracting authorities who are scheduled to engage design teams from this date onwards should include the following requirements in the scope of services required of the design team where the form of contract to be used is PW-CF1, PW-CF3 and PW-CF5:
The design team shall be responsible for the production of a Bill of Quantities to one of the recognised methods of measurement as appropriate to the works projects as set out below.
- Building works – Agreed Rules of Measurement Version 4 (ARM 4) as amended for use with the public works contract. Supplement 2 of ARM 4 must be used for mechanical and electrical works and the project quantity surveyor is responsible for the measurement of the M&E works to ARM 4 (Supplement 2) standard.
- Civil engineering works – Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement 3rd Edition (CESMM 3) as amended for use with the public works contract.
- Road construction – Method of Measurement for Road Works (MMRW) published by the National Roads Authority as Volume 3 of the Manual of Contract Documents for Road works.
At a gathering of construction industry stakeholders in Government Buildings today, Minister of State, Simon Harris T.D. announced the outcome of the first stage of the review of the Public Works Contracts which was undertaken by the Government Contracts Committee for Construction. The event marked the publication of a report entitled “Report on the performance of the Public Works Contract” on the review by the Office of Government Procurement, which sets out recommendations for interim amendments to the contracts and a framework for a medium term strategy to inform engagement between industry stakeholders,
The interim recommendations are aimed at rebalancing risk currently transferred to contractors under the contracts in recognition of the different economic environment to the one into which the contracts were introduced in 2007 and in particular the very different challenges facing both Government and the industry in delivering construction projects.
The recommendations will be implemented by the middle of next year. Broader engagement on the procurement of public projects will take place with industry stakeholders throughout 2015. They will be invited to contribute to a medium-term strategy which will encompass procurement and recent developments in the fields of technology and legislation governing the construction industry. Key areas such as performance evaluation, risk management and different contracting strategies will also be considered as part of the strategy with recommendations to be put to Government before the end of next year.
The submissions received as part of the review of the public works contracts are available to download here.
The default value for Clause 2.1 ‘Term’ has been amended from ‘If no time period is stated or that stated exceeds two years then it shall read as two years.’ to read ‘In the case of a multi-participant framework, if no time period is stated or that stated exceeds two years then it shall read as two years. In the case of a single participant framework, if no time period is stated or that stated exceeds four years then it shall read as four years.’ to distinguish between a multi-participant and a single participant framework. This amendment reflects the guidance on the limits applicable to the use of the Term Maintenance and Refurbishment Contract in the Employer Note.
The European Parliament and the Council adopted three new procurement Directives in spring of this year. (Public Procurement; Utilities and Concession Contracts). Ireland and all other Member States are required to implement/ transpose the new Directives into national legislation by 17 April 2016. In Ireland this is by way of Statutory Instrument.
The new suite of Directives comprises:
- Public Procurement: Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement, which will repeal Directive 2004/18/EC
- Utilities: Directive 2014/25/EU on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors, which will repeal Directive 2004/17/EC ; and
- Concessions: Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of Concession Contracts, which does not directly replace any previous Directive.
A summary of the main features of the new public procurement Directive is accessible below as a reference guide to the Directive outlining some of the alterations to the existing procurement regime and new provisions in the 2014 Directive.
Most of the provisions of the Directives are mandatory for Ireland to transpose into national law but there are some areas where the Directives permit policy choices and these are the focus of this consultation.
The Consultation Document below highlights the key policy choices for Ireland and seeks the views of public sector users, private sector tenderers, relevant representative bodies and other interested parties. Responses to the specific questions raised in this consultation paper will be considered in drafting the Statutory Instruments.
If you have responses to the questions raised and comments on the areas in question the Transposition Unit in the OGP would welcome written views by email, to be sent to email@example.com. Submissions will be published on the OGP website www.procurement.ie.
This consultation process will run from Friday 31 October to Friday 12 December, 2014, so please submit your views by then to ensure that they are available for consideration in the preparation of the Statutory Instruments.
Page 2 of the Term Maintenance and Refurbishment Contract Form of Tender and Schedule has been amended to read ‘Term Maintenance and Refurbishment Works Contract’, which corrects a previous reference to ‘Short Public Works Contract’.
Version 1.1 dated 12 December 2013 has been archived.
The following amendments have been made to the Arbitration Rules for use with Public Works and Construction Services Contracts (AR1).:
- Sub-clause 2.2.5 The first ‘are’ has been replaced by the word ‘or’
- Sub-clause 4.3.1 ‘the parties the arbitral tribunal’ has been replaced with the parties and the arbitral tribunal’
- Sub-clauses 3.5.6 and 6.3 ‘Office of Government Procurement, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2’ has been amended to ‘Office of Government Procurement, Public Procurement Policy Unit, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2.
Version 1.1 dated 13 January 2014 has been archived
The reference to Appendix G in QW1 3.4.2a (ii) and 3.4.2b (ii); and QW3 3.4.2b (HS) (ii) have been amended to Appendix H.