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I got a notice about the cost of concrete repairs this morning. The letter raises the following issues:
1. Why Keepmoat were selected when they were over three times more expensive than the other tender. The letter says that this was based on quality but no indication is given how this was evaluated and provided that the specification was tightly written there should be little difference in quality.
2. Why there were only two tenders. When there is such a big disparity in prices this is not enough on which to base a reasoned decision.
3. How the evaluation weighting was decided on. In my, and Anna’s, experience City of London tenders are usually weighted 70% price and 30% quality..

The letter also provides rather unsatisfactory réponses to questions about the works. It relies on Dr Brookfield’s responses but he appears to be unaware that the first concrete repairs were carried out in 1970 within 10 years of the estate being completed and the Arup report of the time notes poor quality concrete with insufficient cover to reinforcement and in some cases reinforcement sticking out of the face of the concrete work. The blocks were coated with a protective membrane at this time but this has never been checked or maintained.

While costs may be claimed for new protective coatings they should not be claimed fors works necessary as a result of original defective work.

I think that as many residents as possible should respond to the letter to make the City aware of residents opinions on the costs and process.

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Tim. I understand that there were only two tenders - very disappointing and the team involved should try to find out why this was. On the scoring matrix used to assist decision-making on which tender to recommend for approval, I used to think this was 60% price and 40% quality but it seems it is the other way round, at least for housing and possibly across the board. I think it is fair enough to ask and expect a reply on how the scoring matrix works, ie what the various headings are that are scored and how the scores are weighted to produce an overall score for each tender. This question avoids the risk of an answer that says that there is an issue over the disclosure of confidential price-sensitive data, making a meaningful reply impossible.

Possibly the lower price was so low-ball that it was simply not credible - but I have not seen the letter and have not been involved in the tender process, so I am just guessing. It certainly seems reasonable to be asking these questions, and I would be interested to see how this goes.

I am very worried about this.  Not least because this is the first of a series of major costs that we will be facing.

I cannot understand why so few firms tendered. It would be usual to long list to six or seven and short list to three or four.

There are also different ways of looking at the balance between price and quality. For example, if the repairs will be hidden, then aesthetic experience will count for less than a job requiring a very careful match between old and new concrete.

(NB have a look at the most recent concrete repairs on the seating next to the new children's' play area.  It completely fails to match the original, something that the contractors repairing the swimming pool paid careful attention to).

I suggest that the City does not go ahead with this until the tender process has been properly taken forward.

I agree with Tim and suggest that all residents respond to the letter. 

In my experience when you only get two tenders and they are so far apart, you have to go back out and re-tender to establish the correct price. Am I right in thinking that the concrete repair works are being done as part of the (overdue) decorations? Because the same scaffold and site set-up will be necessary for both won't they?

Are the City sending an officer to the meeting on the 28th?

I wrote to Dr Downing expressing concern at the fact there were just two quotes with costs seemingly at extremes, and that the contract is to be awarded to a company quoting 300% higher with whom CoL already has a relationship. His response was:

* Current market rates were established by an external consultancy and verified by a concrete corrosion specialist

* The bid from Keepmoat for the Golden Lane Estate was comfortably within these estimated cost of works  

* The Keepmoat technical submission scored well on the quality assessment

* The tendered bid from Barwin was less than half the City's estimate which was a concern and it scored poorly in multiple areas

Their response is not good enough.  There are many companies who can do this work. Keepmoat is now two years behind schedule on Great Arthur House. Keepmoat has on its board a member of common council and should not therefore be invited to tender.  It does not make sense to separate the concrete repairs from the general decoration as the two are linked and would use the same scaffolding.

Agree. I've asked why there has been a failure to get more than two responses, especially if there are such concerns about one of them. I'd certainly not get away with explaining a tender outcome like this involving similar sums of money to my board!

I will write to them too, this seems very worrying.

Totally agree with comments above. 

Ok, so Dr Downing said current market rates were "established" ?? by an external consultancy.  Which consultancy?  What existing links (payments) do they already enjoy with CoL? 

Further, who decided on the 60/40 quality (subjective)/cost split?  So no matter what the cost if the quality was (subjectively) decided to be better, that's that. 

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