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Last edited 20 Feb 2021
The Public Client and the Construction Industries: the report of the Building and Civil Engineering Economic Development Committees Joint Working Party Studying Public Sector Purchasing (the Wood Report) was published in 1975.
It was the output of a working party formed in 1971, a collaboration between the government, trade unions and industry that was chaired from 1973 by Sir Kenneth Wood (following the resignation of David Morrell).
The Wood Report suggested:
- Lowest price tendering was damaging to the performance of the industry. This was consistent with the previous Banwell report which had found competitive tendering had a negative impact on efficiency - a finding that was largely ignored.
- There should be a rolling programme of public sector projects to stabilise demand for construction.
- Insufficient time was spent during the design and preparation stages and this led to delays, variations and additional costs during construction.
- There should be greater use of pre-approved lists of suppliers, two-stage tendering and design and build.
The report did not have a significant impact on government policy, partly due to worsening economic conditions, and partly due to the Poulson scandal which exposed local authority corruption associated with some of the forms of procurement proposed in the report.
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