FM procurement process "hinders public sector outsourcing"

19 April 2016 | Jamie Harris

The procurement process in FM has become a hindrance to public sector outsourcing, according to Bellrock’s Martin Holt.

Speaking at the Future of FM in the Public Sector conference, organised by the University of Salford and held in London, Holt noted that there is often a lack of transparency in the FM industry, which hinders the flexibility of facilities and estates teams.
He said: “The whole procurement process gets in the way. From a public sector practitioner’s perspective, OJEU can be helpful and it can be very unhelpful. 
“If you’re facing a challenge where you need to be more flexible over who you can contract with, OJEU gets in the way, and if I’m being perfectly candid, I don’t think the CCS [Crown Commercial Service] framework has really helped. It’s channelling down into set boxes that don’t really help [the FM provider].”
Holt referred to a quote from Steve Jobs, explaining that “it’s impossible to join the dots looking forward”. Holt encouraged delegates to consider what FM teams should have been doing five years ago to make services as efficient as they can be today.
Other speakers at the conference noted that public sector FM teams can learn from each other. Peter Bright, head of strategy at the University of Salford, pointed to the similarities between a university estate and a local authority.
Both Bright and Holt said that the future of public sector facilities management would be centred around place making, and ensuring that estates are using information to effectively create a flexible space for its users.
The conference continues this afternoon.

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