New Government Procurement Guidelines for the Construction Industry come into force today

The new guidelines apply to various government sectors in five groups, ranging from Government Ministries, District Health Boards and agencies like NZTA, which must comply, through to council organisations like port companies and Watercare Services, which may comply.  Departure from the guidelines must be documented and reasoned.

The guidelines cover what the government has determined is "good practice" from project inception through to completion; they are extensive; and prescriptive, covering the use of standard contracts, the permissible use of special conditions, imposition of indemnities, selection of competent contractors, protection of subcontractors and moving from a lowest cost basis of award to taking wider considerations in to account, like whole of life cost, sustainable practices and health and safety.

It is debatable whether such a prescriptive approach will be effective, when what is required is a fundamental change in attitudes in the industry.  Time will tell.

The Guidelines can be viewed here.