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What about best value?

LETTERS

I read with interest your story on the reintroduction of ACE fee scales (NCE last week).

There is no doubt that there is an urgent need to revitalise the construction industry. As a specialist consultant (depending on the project also called sub-consultant or subcontractor), I also see the need for higher fees to be available across the industry. I think that the ACE and ourselves agree that the cause is an obsession with lowest cost and hence, normally, lowest value tendering.

What happened to the government's desire to get best value for money? Is it that financiers and civil servants are incapable or scared of making the necessary value judgements?

The situation could be transformed very quickly if the government required the second lowest or the median tender to be accepted.

Reintroduction of scale fees is one solution, but I fear that those who benefit will still apply the same practices which they condemn, when dealing with sub-consultants and contractors.

Stephen Kemp (M), Technotrade Structural Services, Bucknalls Lane, Garston, Watford, WD25 9XX

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