Framework procurement for highways maintenance in the UK: can it offer value for money for public-sector clients?

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Journal Article

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Highways maintenance, Framework agreements, Value for money, Resource allocation, Optimisation




Framework agreements are emerging as a construction management tool used by public authorities to achieve value for money (VFM) services. This research aims to assess whether use of framework agreements for highways maintenance projects can result in significant improvement for performance outcomes and production and transaction costs during the construction phase. A single-case study was conducted to investigate outcomes set within the context of a major county council. Independent-samples t-tests of 164 framework and traditional discrete projects proved that there were significant improvements in performance outcomes in time (finish on time), cost (payment accuracy) and quality (defects and health and safety) resulted from the framework agreements. The independent-samples t-tests also identified significant improvements in total cost for engagement and performance monitoring but without significant changes in tender prices. Conclusions from this study support the use of framework procurement for local authority public-sector clients in highways maintenance, leading to significant improvements of performance outcomes and cost savings and hence VFM services to achieve optimal use of resources. Based on the case-study findings, an informed policy decision has been made between the county council and adjacent local authorities to implement an expanded framework agreement to cover a South East region.

Source Publication

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering: Maintenance, Management, Life-Cycle Design and Performance

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