Title: An analysis of public sector prequalification procedures in Northern Ireland
Author: Robert Eadie; John Rodgers; Clare McKeown; Patrick Smyth
Address: School of the Built Environment, Jordanstown Campus, University of Ulster, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK. ' School of the Built Environment, Jordanstown Campus, University of Ulster, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK. ' School of the Built Environment, Jordanstown Campus, University of Ulster, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK. ' Martin and Hamilton, 46 Doury Road, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT43 6JB, UK
Journal: Int. J. of Procurement Management, 2012 Vol.5, No.3, pp.273 - 288
Abstract: The recent findings of two Northern Ireland procurement court cases using the 'restricted procedure' have European wide implications. The perceptions of having a 'prequalification' stage in addition to 'quality/price' are researched; parts of the prequalification questionnaire (PQQ) are analysed and ranked in importance. Economic operator perceptions are investigated on projects above the European threshold using the restricted procedure. Findings confirm practitioners understand the court decisions ranking the evaluation of 'previous experience' as the most important part within the prequalification stage. There is ambivalence regarding PQQ's providing value for money (VFM): 49% consider it does not provide additional VFM compared to the single stage process. The majority of organisations (62%) use external consultants when preparing PQQ submissions. Findings show the court cases have resulted in PQQ's becoming more generic, an innovative response is no longer possible as it will be outside the scoring matrix. Practitioners provided suggestions on improving the process.
Keywords: prequalification procedures; construction contracts; procurement law; restricted procedures; Northern Ireland; UK; United Kingdom; public sector; case law; restricted procedures; McLaughlin & Harvey Limited; Department of Finance and Personnel; Public Contracts Regulations; government departments; Henry Brothers Limited; Department of Education; Magherafelt; quality; price; prequalification questionnaire; economic operators; operator perceptions; construction projects; European Union; EC regulations; financial thresholds; legal decisions; EC directives; European Council; EU; previous experience; value for money; single stage process; external consultants; PQQ submissions; court cases; generic questionnaires; innovative responses; scoring matrixes; procurement management.