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Tender process is 'biased to UK'

26 November 09 11:17 GMT

The States of Guernsey has received renewed criticism that it is not doing enough to ensure a level playing field when tendering for capital projects.

Ken Morrison, a member of the Construction Industry Forum, said more could be done to support local companies in their bids.

He said: "There are instances where the tendering basis tends to almost preclude local companies."

Deputy Jack Honeybill defended the system which he said was fair.

Capital projects include the Baubigny schools, the nearly complete clinical block and future projects like the work on Les Beaucamps School, the new Alderney care home and the redevelopment of the airport runway.

Mr Morrison said: "There are instances where there was a refusal to break a project down into smaller chunks, which could have been done quite easily, and would have assisted local companies to tender.

"Instances where the scoring matrix that they used to select contractors has 20% of the mark which can not be achieved by a local company because it requires experience which in my opinion no local company has."

He said: "Whether it's a deliberate bias towards UK companies, or not, is not possible to say.

"All you can say is that if you see a set of documents, which makes it more difficult for local companies to win in competition with UK companies, it seems to run at odds with the professed view of wanting local companies to do the work."

Deputy Honeybill, deputy Treasury and Resources minister, said: "The system of assessing tenders is done on a very transparent basis to be fair to each individual that actually tenders.

"There's no question of there being any bias towards any particular tender when we know full well how the economy is going along. That would not be the right system to adopt I think."

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