ARC ViO leading infrastructure procurement innovation

QUT School of Built Environment’s leading research developing an innovative approach to infrastructure procurement attracted significant interest at recent webinars with project partners and professional networks.

Chief Investigator of the ARC Linkage Value in Operations project, Associate Professor Adrian Bridge, presented the results of the trial of a new procurement decision tool, across two webinars with over 500 attendees. The tool will guide government and industry through the infrastructure procurement process and will produce high quality and cost-effective outcomes.

The procurement decision tool has been designed to significantly advance Value for Money in the delivery of infrastructure projects. The development and empirical testing of the tool occurred as part of the ARC Linkage, including support of Austroads’ member organisations.

A report, Procurement Decision Tool: A Case Study of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, published by Austroads presents an overview of the tool and its application to a road infrastructure project, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in Queensland. Austroads also presented a webinar with Associate Professor Bridge with video of the webinar now available online at the Austroads website or here. Presentation slides and Q&A  from the webinar are also available to download.

In a webinar hosted by the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), Associate Professor Bridge presented results from the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing trial as well as the preliminary results from a second trial of the tool on a hospital project to over 250 attendees. The Gold Coast University Hospital trial was undertaken in partnership with Infrastructure Australia with a final report due by the end of 2020. Access the AIQS webinar here and download presentation slides.

“The Procurement Decision Tool guides decision making by asking a number of questions and using the answers to find the best mode of procurement for a road infrastructure project, based on the state of the market and the needs of the project,” Associate Professor Bridge said.

“With the prospect, post-coronavirus (COVID-19), of the most acute fiscally constrained environment since the Great Depression, the use of the Tool is compelling to ensure that the best Value-for-Money is delivered and demonstrated on each and every new infrastructure project.”

Associate Professor Bridge also acknowledged changing government expectations as expressed at the March 2020 COAG (now National Cabinet) meeting which recommended greater monitoring of market conditions and capacity to inform policy and project pipelines.

According to Global Infrastructure Hub’s InfraCompass, Australia is a high performer in infrastructure, but would benefit from reduced procurement timeframes which are significantly greater than other High Income Countries. Lengthy procurement durations impose costs, risks and down time on contractors bidding for and investing in infrastructure projects.

“Considerations of value for money, risk and market capacity are critical for all levels of government in terms of meeting service needs in the community, ” Associate Professor Bridge said.

“The Value in Operations project is developing tools, such as the Procurement Decision Tool and the Value Rating tool, which are attentive to market capacity and capability as well as service provision.”