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Tender questions

I noted with interest the article about re-tendering the design contracts for Crossrail.

There seems to be little difference between design/build contracts which contractors have already rejected and those now proposed called "Optimised Contractor Involvement" (OCI).

It is said that under OCI the owner's design will be taken 70% of the way.

How can one know when a design for a project is 70% complete – design is not prepared in a flat line. Some may be 100% complete, some may not even have started. Is this to be an average?

And what responsibility for the design is the contractor to take on thereafter? The remaining 30% or the whole?

Under design/build, contractors can already be asked to take over the design at any stage in its development.

Even if it is the 30% I do not see how this approach can give contractors any more certainty or reassurance about how much more design they are going to have to do, the risks they are going to take on, or how much it is all going to cost.

These were all reasons why contractors rejected design/build in the first place.

RACHEL BARNES, Beale and Company Solicitors, Garrick House, 27-32 King Street, London, WC2E 8JB

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