29 July 2019Image: Jessica Lindsay
‘Procurement’. It’s the topic you bring up late in the evening when you finally wish to bore your guests into leaving. It is also one issue that arises every month of every president’s tenure and takes up a considerable discussion time at each and every Chapter Council meeting. I’m not game to count the hours of Institute staff time dedicated to it.
I was in Launceston last week for a practice forum. It was one of the hot topics of discussion with a range of various issues being encountered by our fellow practitioners. Last week I also had three calls from members and three meetings related to procurement and associated issues.
On a week-by-week basis, most issues relate to member concerns around procurement practices.
Generally, there are many ways we advocate for members in relation to these issues, but if appropriate, the Institute contacts the procurer directly to discuss the issue and we also generally follow up with a letter or written record. Often, depending on the discussions and issue, some follow up advocacy work is also undertaken.
This is something that we don’t expect will wane and ongoing time and effort will be always be dedicated to advocating on behalf of our members and the profession in regard to procurement related issues.
The Institute has recognised the significance of this issue by undertaking a research project resulting in the document entitled Guidelines – Expressions of interest and requests for tender for architectural services, which can be accessed via Acumen.
I would encourage all members to read this. I had another member ring me out of the blue to simply tell me that they had read the document and that, “it’s great, it’s really interesting.”
Everyone should take this member’s lead and read this document, and more importantly, use it.
One project the Institute is gradually undertaking is to progressively socialise this document with those in a position to procure architects services, such as state government departments, local councils, and large organisations and companies.
This project is one that needs to be undertaken by the whole membership. Each and every member when a chance arises, should take the opportunity to progressively introduce this document to their networks.
We don’t expect every procurer to take the whole document on board, but step-by-step, if they take any of the guidelines up, this year, or next year, or beyond, then inch-by-inch, this makes improvements for our profession.
All we would ask is that if members do get an opportunity to socialise this document with any bodies, please let the Institute staff know so that we can track it and avoid double-ups.
For any further information on this document, please contact Chapter staff.
Shamus Mulcahy RAIA
President, Tasmanian Chapter,
Australian Institute of Architect