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RIBA report on Smart PFI published

by mel starrs on January 3, 2007

in Publications & Standards

In what could herald the most radical shake-up for PFI in the past 15 years, RIBA have launched a position paper detailing its PFI procurement model – the Client Concept Design Model – and a number of firm recommendations following the Smart PFI principles:

The Client Concept Design Model seeks to address the problems the RIBA and its partners have identified in the PFI procurement and design process:

• Excessive cost and time necessary to bid for PFI
• Inadequate resourcing of the public sector client at the early stages of procurement – The Strategic and Outline Business Case stages – to allow adequate option appraisal – including site and location appraisal- and strategic brief development
• Untested and/or poorly tested project briefs prematurely put to the PFI market
• A lack of experience within the public sector clients, many of which were first time commissioners of buildings
• Insufficient direct contact between the client and the design team during the bid stages to allow good briefmaking and a robust design to emerge with adequate stakeholder consultation

The position paper can be found here (pdf, 6 pages). They admit in the paper that PFI does not currently result in ‘good design in public buildings’ and wastes money, time and effort. The paper calls for more money for the public client earlier in the process for option appraisal, and also calls for central and local gevernment to increase their design departments.

Could the council design team, many of whom were sold off to the private sector in the last decade, be set for a comeback?