30th October 2015

Industry anger as Scape framework set to exclude SMEs

Industry bodies have expressed concern as a new four-year Scape framework is set to use a £125 million turnover threshold for potential suppliers. 

Industry anger as Scape framework set to exclude SMEs

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In a prior information notice for the Built Environment Consultancy Services (BICS) framework, Scape stated that they anticipated this level of minimum annual turnover but had yet to finalise the figure.

Building.co.uk spoke to industry body RICS about this potential block to SMEs, who told them that this restriction was “disappointing” and an SME consultant said the proposal was “ridiculous.”

Scape expect to only appoint a single supplier for the framework, which is estimated to be worth £250-350 million over four years. The framework will offer many services to the public sector including project management, quantity surveying, civil and structural engineering, and architecture and design services. The single supplier or entity will be expected to provide all of these services with each commission being worth anywhere between £5000 and £5 million.

Scape Group countered the criticism by stating that SMEs could work together to form a consortium and provide the services together whilst meeting the £125 million threshold. However, forming a consortium for such a huge project is clearly no mean feat, and with the time pressures associated with bidding for such a lucrative framework SMEs are likely to be dissuaded from taking part in the process.

BICS framework invitations to tender are due to be sent out in April 2016, with the winner announced by July. While the majority of SMEs will be unable to participate in the bidding process, the prior information notice states that local contractors may well work with the winning organisation on specific projects.

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