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Procurement plan modified for the Olympic swimming pool


OLYMPIC BOSSES have modified the competitive dialogue procurement model to cut bidding costs for the London 2012 swimming pool.

The move is in response to concerns over the cost of using this procedure to select its delivery partner.

Bidders for the pool will go through a two-stage competitive dialogue process, after Olympic bosses last week admitted that the single stage procurement of the delivery partner was costly and time consuming.

A tender notice for construction of the Aquatics centre will be issued in the next two weeks.

Up to six successful bidders could receive invitations to enter dialogue over the scope of the pool contract with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) on 5 March.

At some point in this dialogue, the shortlist will be cut down to two or three before the final award is made in December.

This contrasts with the competitive dialogue used to procure the ODA's delivery partner, which saw four bidders locked in detailed discussions until the award was made in August last year.

It is estimated that the process cost each bidder approximately £1M (NCE 21 September 2006).

'One thing we are really conscious of is the cost to bidders, ' said ODA head of procurement Morag Stuart, speaking at NCE's 'New Procurement Methods and Competitive Dialogue' conference last week.

'With the Aquatics Centre, rather than take four participants all the way to the end, if there is the basis for an effective evaluation at some point [during the competitive dialogue], then we will use that to down select to two or three bidders, ' said Stewart.

The decision follows an industry day held by the ODA in London two weeks ago. At this, the ODA consulted contractors on the best way to progress the existing aquatic centre design by architect Zaha Hadid and structural engineer Arup.

Contractors will be expected to complete the detailed design and construct the venue. This was originally priced at £75M but is expected to rise when the ODA budget is finally unveiled.

The 20,000 capacity aquatic centre will have a 14,000m steel roof housing a 50m training pool, 50m competition pool and diving pool. Detailed design starts in December with completion scheduled for 2011.

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