Office of Government Commerce OGC
The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) was an office of HM Treasury. However, following the credit crunch in 2007, OGC was absorbed into the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) within the Cabinet Office in May 2010 (ref Gov.uk, Whitehall shake-up in drive for efficiency, 15 June 2010).
When it existed, the OGC produced a great deal of guidance about best practice in procurement and project management. This OGC guidance has now been archived, however, it is still cited in the new Government Construction Strategy and the revised Common Minimum Standards (to become the 'Construction Standards') and links are still provided from government websites such as the Major Projects Authority. The OGC gateway review process still provides one of the best and most comprehensive sets of guidance for public projects. It is for this reason that the project plan for public projects within Designing Buildings Wiki follows the OGC gateway review process. See Public project: outline work plan.
The procurement routes preferred by the Government Construction Strategy and described by the OGC gateway review process are private finance initiative (PFI), prime contracting and design and build (see OGC Achieving Excellence Guide 6:Procurement and contract strategies). The Government Construction Strategy states that traditional procurement routes that separate design from construction should not be used unless it can be demonstrated that they offer better value for money.
The three preferred routes involve appointing a single integrated supply team (including designers, contractors, suppliers and perhaps facilities managers) after the project brief has been prepared, before design commences. This means that the main decision to invest (i.e. to appoint the integrated supply team), takes place before any designs have been prepared.
The OGC Gateway Review process offers a structure for projects following these procurement routes, based around a series of independent peer reviews carried out at key stages to verify that projects should be allowed to progress to the next stage.
- OGC gateway review 0: strategic assessment.
- OGC gateway review 1: business justification
- OGC gateway review 2: delivery strategy (or procurement strategy)
- OGC gateway review 3: investment decision
- OGC gateway review 4: readiness for service
- OGC gateway review 5: operations review & benefits realisation (or benefits evaluation)
There are also two additional decision points specific to building projects:
High level guides:
- Achieving Excellence Guide 1 - Initiative into Action.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 2 - Project Organisation.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 3 - Project Procurement Lifecycle (this is the key document which explains the OGC procurement route, describing what should be done, when and by who.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 4 - Risk and Value Management.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 5 - The Integrated Project Team.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 6 - Procurement and Contract Strategies
- Achieving Excellence Guide 7 - Whole-Life costing.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 8 - Improving Performance.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 9 - Design Quality.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 10 - Health and Safety.
- Achieving Excellence Guide 11 - Sustainability.
NB The damning 2011 House of Commons Treasury Select Committee report on PFI has found '...that PFI projects are significantly more expensive to fund over the life of a project and that there is no ...clear evidence of savings and benefits in other areas of PFI projects which are sufficient to offset this significantly higher cost of finance. It is difficult to see where this leaves private finance initiatives, however, there are more than 700 existing PFI projects, and as long as it continues to allow financing not to appear in government debt figures it is likely to remain a feature of procurement in the UK.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Achieving Excellence.
- Collaborative practices.
- Common minimum standards.
- Design and build.
- Efficiency and Reform Group.
- Government construction strategy.
- Key dates.
- OGC gateway 0.
- OGC gateway 1.
- OGC gateway 2.
- OGC gateway 3.
- OGC gateway 4.
- OGC gateway 5.
- Major Projects Authority.
- Prime cost contract.
- Private finance initiative.
- Public private partnership.
 External references
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