HMEP: Sector-wide approach to procuring highway services

The Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) has released a new suite of services that are designed to help the highways sector to procure services and maintain local roads more efficiently.

HMEP’s updated Standard Form of Contract and Procurement Suite has been developed by the sector to help simplify and standardise the way local highway authorities procure highway services and manage their term maintenance contracts.

Clients and providers have worked together to provide clear direction for the highways sector, providing an enhanced suite of ready-made procurement documents that can reduce the amount of time, resource and cost, while benchmarking current contract performance to inform future contract delivery.

Speaking on behalf of the Highways Term Maintenance Association (HTMA) reference group, David Binding, said: “Working collaboratively between the public and private sector to further develop the HMEP suite of industry standard contract documents has been ground-breaking. By collecting best practice and developing fair and transparent Standard Forms of Contract for highway maintenance services, the whole industry can reduce procurement and tendering costs as well as ultimately achieving greater efficiencies.

“Moving forward, it’s vital that the public and private sectors continue to work together to ensure the effective implementation and operation of these best practice contract mechanisms.”

In addition to the Standard Form of Contract, the updated procurement suite from HMEP includes a Price List of around 2,000 frequently used items procured by local highway authorities and a standard Method of Measurement that provides new definitions, units and rules where none exist currently.

Keith Gale, from Hampshire County Council, said: “I would encourage all involved with the tendering, pricing and administration of highways related term contracts to examine and use the Method of Measurement and Price List produced by HMEP.

“For the first time it provides standard descriptions, measurement guidance and item coverage for contracts of this type. This allows all parties to clearly understand their roles, responsibilities, duties and risks involved in contracts. Having a uniform basis upon which to express these in economic terms must be a way forward.”

David Whitton, from Devon County Council, added: “Devon has been pleased to be involved in the development of the HMEP: Procurement Suite. We have been using the draft suite of HMEP documents in preparing our contract, and the formal launch of the documents will enable other authorities to benefit from using a standardised form of contract documents, which will cut costs in the procurement process, present a consistent picture to the market and embed the latest thinking on highway term contracts to enable ongoing efficiency gains, which will contribute towards reducing service costs.”

The HMEP: Procurement documents, which are free to download here are:

  • Notes for Guidance (updated)
  • Standard Form of Contract (updated)
  • Price List (new)
  • Method of Measurement (new)
  • Standard Specification and Standard Details, Official Journal of the European Union, Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, Instruction for Tender (remain unchanged)

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