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Frameworking cuts valuable resource

Letters

Frameworking agreements are becoming more and more in evidence and the Environment Agency is just the latest in a line of organisations finding this procurement route attractive. Following the appointment of four consultancy frameworks in 2000, seven contractors have been appointed by the Agency to undertake all the Agency's flood and coastal defence construction works over the next five years.

There is much work to be done in this field and I believe there is a need for a healthy and competitive resource of UK consultants and contractors to choose from. Yet many wellknown names are missing from the lists with the result that the Agency cannot make full use of resources currently available.

As the Agency is effectively the only employer of consultancy and contracting services for UK sea and tidal defences, those not included in these frameworks will be denied any opportunity to work in this field in the UK for a number of years. This may unintentionally inflict severe damage on the industry.

When the frameworks come up for renewal, the existing frameworkers will be the only companies able to show recent UK experience and so, regardless of performance, the Agency may have to re-employ them.

Ken Bunker (F), 25 Savill Road, Lindfield, West Sussex RH16 2NY

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