Professional commissioning practices
As the largest property manager of the Netherlands, the Central Government Real Estate Agency sets an example in public-sector commissioning practices. We observe good commissioning practices by acting with integrity and transparency in inviting tenders and selecting candidates. We develop sound and innovative contracts and implement the State’s policy on public procurement.
Integrity in tendering
The assignments put out to tender by the Central Government Real Estate Agency often involve large sums of money and major interests. That is why we have a duty to act scrupulously when drafting requests for tender and selecting contractors. To build confidence in our role as a commissioning body, we adhere to government quality and integrity standards.
Art commissioning body
The Arts Percentage Scheme makes the Central Government Real Estate Agency the largest commissioning body for art in the Netherlands. In accordance with this scheme, we spend a percentage of every budget involving the construction, remodelling or purchase of property on art. The percentage is linked to the size of the budget. The scheme takes effect when the budget for a construction or remodelling project exceeds € 1,000,000.
The Arts Percentage Scheme has ensured that central government has a wide-ranging and important collection of sculpture, photographs, paintings, installations and other forms of artistic expression to exhibit in and around its buildings. The art and the quality of the buildings combine to provide an inspiring working environment.
The Central Government Real Estate Agency wants all of its purchases to be sustainable, whether they involve products, property or services. Criteria for sustainable procurement have been established for the various product groups. You can use these criteria to evaluate the sustainability of your products or services. We adhere to these criteria in our public procurement procedures.
We participate in the Sustainable Infrastructure Project, an alliance of commercial parties, government commissioning bodies and research institutes that aims to incorporate sustainability into railway, land, road and marine engineering projects. The participants do their utmost to use sustainable methods at every stage of their infrastructure project.
The Central Government Real Estate Agency aims to deliver quality to its clients, i.e. the organisations and people who use the sites and buildings under its management. To achieve this, we make firm preliminary agreements (under contract) with the commercial enterprises that work for us. During the term of a contract and afterwards, we keep an eye on their compliance with the pre-determined specifications by applying systematic contract management (SCM) and the Past Performance tool.
The first important phase in procurement and tendering is to develop a set of specifications. Functional specifications describe the behaviour of the product or service requested by the user. In other words, what must the product do? Functional specifications say nothing at all about how this requirement is to be met. They may be brief and general in nature. They encourage the commercial enterprises that work for us to monitor quality themselves.
Systematic contract management (SCM)
The Central Government Real Estate Agency monitors compliance with contracts on the basis of systematic contract management (SCM). That means that we manage the contracts from the very start based on risks, rather than assessing performance after the fact. Under SCM, you, as the contractor, must ensure that you are working in accordance with the specifications. You do so by using a quality management system based on ISO-9001 standards. You elaborate on this in a separate quality plan for each project, allowing you to monitor the quality of your work continuously.
Payments made to contractors and suppliers must be justifiable. The Central Government Real Estate Agency is therefore responsible for ensuring the quality of procurement. That requires us to assess our contractors’ and suppliers’ quality management system. Where necessary, we will take steps based on our findings. In the end, SCM means better quality for our clients.
The Central Government Real Estate Agency assesses contractors’ working methods using the Past Performance tool. In this method, contactors are awarded a mark for their performance after delivery or execution. If the mark is satisfactory, the contractor is given a reference. We use the assessment when selecting contractors for new projects.
The Past Performance tool assesses the contactor’s client focus. It does not review whether an assignment was completed in accordance with the contract. The Past Performance tool looks mainly at:
- whether the contractor works to a plan
- expertise and quality
- cooperation, communication and organisation
- health and safety