Fair competition

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From Maurice Boots, former States Architect.

IT has been reported that local firms being invited to tender for States contracts is a new initiative.

It seems that the Council of Ministers has long abandoned the standing orders for capital works which required:

• The presentation of plans and/or details of capital projects with estimates of cost to the States Assembly for approval.

• If approved, detailed drawings and bills of quantities were prepared and an invitation to tender published in the press.

• Contractors applying were required to obtain a performance bond from Commercial Union, who checked their financial ability to complete the contract before they were allowed to tender. Their technical abilities were, of course, carefully assessed by the States’ own qualified professionals (not by outside consultants).

• When tenders were received bills of quantities were subjected to further professional examination and, in general, the lowest tender accepted, subject to its approval by the States Assembly.

• When approved all tenders with length of contract stated and, with the names of each contractor, were published in the local press.

These standing orders ensured fair competition, reliability of engaged contractors and total transparency and, in my view, should never have been abandoned.

3 The Terrace,

Red Houses,

St Brelade.

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