On January the 21st, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) launched the £30 billion FAC-1 framework alliance for construction works and associated services (the most valuable framework in the UK[1]). In presentations organized by CCS and attended by clients and contractors, CCS described the main aspects of this 7 year collaborative alliance. The alliance is based on the standard form FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract and will contribute to achieving one of the aims expressed in the UK Government´s 2016-2020 Construction Strategy, namely developing new models and approaches to procurement, which focus on collaboration and early contractor involvement.[2]

Members of the Centre for Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at King´s College London, including myself, attended the workshop and Professor David Mosey spoke of how FAC-1:

– will improve integration among clients, contractors, consultants and subcontractors

– will enhance early supplier contributions to design, safety, carbon reduction and joint risk management

– will enable the use of BIM and other strategic systems for data sharing.

The use of FAC-1 (created by King’s College London and the Association of Consultant Architects) will also allow a flexible approach and the implementation of typically used project contracts, such as JCT, NEC or PPC.

There are 11 lots in the framework ranging from Building Works and Civil Engineering Works to High Rise Accommodation and Residential, and some projects have already been successfully awarded. Additional public clients can enter the alliance through a simple procedure and key stakeholders include the Ministry of Justice and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. The Ministry of Justice alone plans to spend £3,5 billion in the following 5 years on works such as new prisons and house block expansion.

CCS has established standardized systems for contract implementation and effective performance monitoring, and mechanisms to capture evolving public sector policy and strategies are also in place.

The scale of the CCS Alliance is a step towards an improved and sustainable UK construction industry and I particularly look forward to similar improvements throughout the EU and beyond.

[1] See D. Mosey´s LinkedIn Article Winners announced on £30 billion FAC-1 framework alliance ,’the most valuable framework yet launched in the UK’ , available on his LinkedIn Profile.

[2] See the policy paper Government Construction Strategy: 2016-2020, available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-construction-strategy-2016-2020