SBF calls for procurement system reforms
21 February 2012
Posted by Michelle Devonshire
A group representing the building and construction sector in Scotland has called for the amount of red tape in the procurement process to be reduced.
According to the Scottish Building Federation (SBF), there is lots of "unnecessary bureaucracy" that has served to stifle the industry over the last few years.
Therefore, it is keen to see the procurement system revised so it is more conducive to driving growth in the industry.
The SBF argued that this would help to improve confidence among building and construction firms that are still dealing with the fallout of the economic slump.
Michael Levack, Chief Executive of the group, said he hopes the industry can "work constructively" with the government over the next few months in order to improve sentiment.
He stated that the number of houses being built in Scotland each year is now at its lowest level on record and that construction firms are not expecting to see an upturn take place this year.
Mr Levack also noted that construction output in the public sector is set to drop in the next few months as a result of cuts in public spending.
However, a survey by the SBF did identify a few chinks of light in the Scottish construction industry.
For instance, nearly two-thirds of employers in the sector are not expecting to reduce staff numbers throughout the coming year.
Furthermore, more than one in four businesses believe activity in the repair and maintenance market will pick up throughout 2012.
Mr Levack added that if the government wants to improve confidence in the construction sector, "dismantling" the overly complex procurement process would be "an excellent place to start".
This comes after the Federation of Master Builders urged the government to "make construction a priority" in its efforts to boost the economy, following news from the Office for National Statistics that gross domestic product dropped by 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2011.