A hit or miss affair

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Public sector procurement: Small fish in a big pond

first_imgThe European Commission’s mission to modernise and simplify procurement directives and to open up contracts to SME contractors culminated in the adoption of three new directives on 17 April 2014. These cover public sector contracts, concession contracts, and contracts procured by utility companies. Member states have until 18 April 2016 to transpose these into national law. The UK saw publication in September of draft public contract regulations for consultation. These are expected to come into force early in 2015. The draft regulations apply to all public sector bodies including schools, academy trusts, housing associations and clincial commissioning groups (CCGs). Part four of the regulations introduces rules that apply purely at the UK level to below-threshold contracts: £4.32m for works, and £111,676 or £172,514 for services and supplies, respectively for central government and local authority. These are intended to implement Lord Young’s 2013 proposals to open up more contracts to smaller businesses. They introduce a requirement for central government to advertise contracts of £10,000 or more on the government’s Contracts Finder website. Local authorities and housing associations must also do so for contracts of £25,000 or more. Schools and academies are exempt from this, as are certain NHS procurements. More light is thrown on the thorny question of when an authority can vary a contractIn each case, the advertising requirement only applies if the contract opportunity is put into the public domain, which leaves open the possibility of a behind closed doors deal or a framework call-off. The Contracts Finder advert must clearly specify the time limits to respond, how to respond and any other conditions for participation. The use of pre-qualification questionnaires for such contracts will be banned. Any questions about credentials or suitability to bid must in future be relevant to the subject matter of the contract and proportionate. The Cabinet Office intends to issue more detailed mandatory guidance to further shape best practice, particularly around issues like minimum financial standing and legal status. Authorities must explain any deviation from the rules by written report to the Cabinet Office. Regulation 112 introduces a statutory requirement for public authorities to write into the contract an obligation to pay contractors within 30 days of a valid and undisputed invoice. If they fail to do so, the terms will become implied terms. To help with arguments about whether an invoice is “undisputed and valid” the rules state that invoices must be “considered and verified by the contracting authority in timely fashion”. Undue delay is not regarded as justification for delay in payment.Leaving aside the purely domestic regime for below-threshold procurements, the new rules introduce several other important changes:The time limits for requests to participate and return tenders are shortened by a third in most cases and may be shortened further where e-portals are used. Authorities must move towards full electronic communication by 2018.There is explicit clarification that social and environmental benefits can be considered during evaluation. More emphasis will be placed on “whole life costing” so exit costs, ongoing maintenance liabilities and environmental costs are taken into account.The distinction between Part A and Part B services (mainly social, healthcare educational and cultural services) will go; instead a new “light touch” regime is introduced for contracts in these sectors that exceed €750,000 in value (about £630,000). (Below this, the new domestic rules on transparency explained above may still apply). There is a power to reserve certain types of contract to social enterprises and mutuals, provided strict criteria are satisfied. Commercial providers will need to be alert to any abuse of this.The formerly tarnished “negotiated procedure”, which the European Commission believed was often manipulated to anti-competitive effect, has a new lease of life as the “competitive procedure with negotiation”. The circumstances in which it, and its cousin the “competitive dialogue procedure”, can be used are widened. An “innovation partnership” procedure is introduced to encourage development of new solutions.There are new safeguards against corruption, collusion and managing conflicts of interest – in particular, where authority staff may have a vested interest in the procurement outcome.Market engagement and consultation prior to formal tenders is encouraged.More light is thrown on the thorny question of when an authority can vary a contract without having to re-run the competition. A de minimis limit of 10% (15% for works contracts) is introduced, with clarification of the ability to switch supplier in the case of insolvency or corporate restructuring.Many of the reforms are welcome clarifications of principles already developed by case law. The changes to procedures, particularly the new domestic rules for “below threshold” contracts and 30-day time limits for payments will require authorities to adjust systems and processes in readiness. Contractors and service providers should be alert to their new rights. Mark Johnson is a partner at public services law firm Geldardslast_img read more

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UK groups set up abnormal loads forum

first_imgRay Engley, head of technical services at the Road Haulage Association, is acting as co-ordinator with the support of the Heavy Transport Association, the Freight Transport Association and a number of allied and interested groups.”There is broad consensus throughout the industry that the system needs to be reviewed and tweaked to reflect modern-day movements of abnormal loads,” said Engley. “All sectors across the industry are involved and can be broken down into four specific sectors – clients/consignors, operators including escort organisations, local authorities and structure owners, and police authorities.”The industry faces challenges because of reduced budgets within local authorities and police forces, and a genuine lack of knowledge across all sectors, he said.”The aim is to develop an international code of practice or recommended guidance – details against which enforcement agencies can target offenders and address by training needs where identified, or prosecution for serial non-compliance.”The industry has changed significantly since the last update of the Special Types General Order (STGO) Regulations in 2003, said Engley. “By working together, it is hoped that the industry can move forward together. Customers want their goods moved ‘immediately’; structure owners and local authorities want only notifications relevant to them; police forces want the ability to filter notifications in order to assess the road safety element of individual loads.”www.hta.uk.netwww.rha.uk.netwww.fta.co.uklast_img read more

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DSV completes Panalpina acquisition

first_imgAs part of the integration process, an extraordinary general meeting will be held to approve the change of DSV’s registered name to DSV Panalpina A/S.Jens Bjørn Andersen (ceo) and Jens H. Lund (cfo) will join the new executive board of Panalpina, while the appointment of the remaining executive management team will be announced in due course.The entire integration process is expected to take two to three years.The combined entity has a workforce of 60,000 employees in 90 countries.www.dsv.comwww.panalpina.comlast_img read more

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Google backs Indian station wi-fi roll-out

first_imgINDIA: As part of a strategy to widen access to the internet, Google has announced a project to provide high speed public wi-fi at 400 Indian Railways stations. Google is to work with telecoms company RailTel, which provides internet services via its lineside fibre network. Google aims to provide wi-fi at 100 of the busiest stations by the end of 2016, giving internet to access to the 10 million people who pass through them every day. Google said this would be one of the largest public wi-fi projects in the world, measured by number of potential users. The service would initially be free. The long-term goal is that the service would be self-sustainable, to support expansion to further locations.last_img read more

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T&T PM says former minister encouraging people “to harass and threaten…

first_imgPrime Minister Keith Rowley PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Saturday described the behavior of a former government minister as “dangerous and reckless” after he allegedly made public his telephone number “and encouraged and incited persons to harass and threaten me”.In a statement, Rowley said that Devant Magaraj, who served as a minister in the former People’s Partnership administration headed by Kamla Persad Bissessar, had also published the telephone number on the social media.Maliciously published phone numberHe said that Maharaj had obtained the telephone number on Friday “and has maliciously published it in the widest possible way on social media and further he has encouraged and incited persons to harass and threaten me.Rowley in his statement titled “To all the decent right thinking people of Trinidad and Tobago,” said as a result “of this act of gross misconduct and in my desire to serve you in a sane and sober manner I regret that I will be discontinuing the use of the number that you might have known and used at some time in the past.Rowley said he trusts that Trinidad and Tobago “never becomes so barren that there is an absence of leadership in all quarters, especially the political arena, where rogue elements who try to drag us down to their base levels can be roundly condemned,” adding “I so do”“All-time low”Earlier, National Security and Minister of Communication, Stuart Young, in a separate statement, said that the publication by Maharaj of the personal contact information of Prime Minister Rowley “is an all-time low and worthy of criminal investigation.“He has continued inciting people to use the Prime Minister’s information to, at a minimum, harass the Prime Minister and at a maximum, expose him to harm,” Young said, adding that Maharaj has been engaging in “despicable and dangerous behavior for some time now.”Maharaj makes no apologyBut in response Maharaj told a local television station “I make no apologies whatsoever for giving out the Prime Minister’s cell number because his government is so out of touch with the harsh and raw reality and the pain and suffering of the public that communication from them will give him a much needed dose of reality.”last_img read more

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VIAVI CellAdvisor Base Station Analyzer Now Supports 28 GHz Frequency Band

first_imgVIAVI Solutions has announced that the CellAdvisor JD700B Series of Base Station Analyzers have been augmented to analyze spectrum and interference of 5G signals in the 28 GHz frequency band. CellAdvisor has been adopted by several Tier-1 mobile service providers as a standard test platform and is familiar to their cell site technicians, riggers and contractors. VIAVI has worked with their customer base to ensure that they can continue to use a single field test solution for existing and next-generation networks.To accommodate the higher speeds envisioned in 5G, the industry is expanding to higher frequency bands than those used in preceding generations. Several network equipment manufacturers and service providers – including Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung, AT&T, Softbank, U.S. Cellular and Verizon – are conducting trials of 5G radios in the 28 GHz band.To support customer demand for testing in 28 GHz, VIAVI has introduced a frequency downconverter for the CellAdvisor JD700B Series, enabling spectrum and interference analysis for the additional band using a familiar and proven platform. VIAVI collaborated with ThinkRF, a pioneer in software-defined spectrum analysis solutions that monitor, detect and analyze complex waveforms in today’s rapidly evolving wireless landscape.CellAdvisor Base Station Analyzers are trusted by mobile service providers, cell site technicians, riggers and contractors for their RFoCPRI and NB-IoT testing needs. The platform offers dual-port capability, cable and antenna analysis, spectrum analysis, interference analysis, signal analysis, demodulation and RF, optical power meters and optional fiber inspection in a rugged, portable, cloud-enabled instrument. Applications include: demodulation of all wireless technologies up to LTE; fiber inspection; interference analysis and PIM detection over CPRI; fronthaul and remote radio head verification over CPRI; and 5G spectrum and interference analysis. Click here to learn more.last_img read more

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PBA Semifinals: Painters rips Hotshots, forces do-or-die Game 7

first_imgThe Hotshots got to a 9-3 start on a triple by Robbie Herndon and inside hit by Rafael Reavis but the Painters relied on consecutive points from Belga to seize the lead at 21-17.The Hotshots managed to take the lead early in the second period before making the match a seesaw affair. A barrage of triples from the Painters late in the period, however, gave it a 41-35 halftime edge.Magnolia launched a rally anew at the onset of the second half to surge to a 51-49 lead but the Painters got hits from Ponferrada and Kris Rosales to knot the count at 62-all after three quarters.Both teams were tied at 64-all in the fourth period when the Painters unloaded a huge run behind four three-point conversion by Nambatac to build its largest lead at 88-76.Ian Sangalang tallied 19 points, while Lee chipped in 18 markers for the Hotshots./PN Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ James Yap is forced to an awkward one-hander by Magnolia Hotshots’ Robbie Herndon. The Painters stayed alive in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. It posted a 91-81 victory over Magnolia Hotshots in Game 6 last night (April 26, 2019) at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. PBA PHOTO MANILA – Rain or Shine Elasto Painters stayed alive in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. It posted a 91-81 victory over Magnolia Hotshots in Game 6 last night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.Leveling the series at 3-3, the Painters forced a do-or-die Game 7 on Sunday.Rey Nambatac caught fire in the fourth quarter with four three-point conversions to finish with 16 points. Negrense James Yap also produced 16 markers.Beau Belga contributed 15 markers, with nine coming in the first quarter, and Jewel Ponferrada tallied 11.last_img read more

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Broncos QB Peyton Manning to Announce Retirement Monday

first_img Related TopicsBroncosNFLPeyton Manning Matt Loede Broncos quarterback and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning will announce his retirement on Monday according to various sources, ending a career that saw him break just about every meaningful passing record along with winning two Super Bowls.ESPN was the first to report the decision early Sunday morning.The announcement comes about a month after Manning and the Broncos beat the Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. The first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, Manning retires as the only quarterback in league history to lead two franchises to Super Bowl titles.Manning retires as the all-time leader with 539 regular-season touchdown passes and 71,940 yards. He and Brett Favre are tied for the most regular-season wins as starting quarterbacks with 186, but Manning’s total jumps to a record 200 including playoffs.Reports say that Manning, who would have been released by the Broncos this week instead of paying another season of his hefty salary, called team president Joe Ellis, general manager John Elway and head coach Gary Kubiak to inform them of his decision.He walks away the NFL’s only five-time MVP. He is a seven-time first-team All-Pro. He missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury while with the Colts, and then started his second career in 2012 with Denver, reaching the Super Bowl twice, winning once. center_img Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.last_img read more

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UWF sophomore Tori Martella gets mic’d up

first_img   PENSACOLA, Fla. – Have you ever wondered what your favorite University of West Florida student-athlete or coach was saying in the huddle39 UWF sophomore Tori Martella got mic’d up this week at practice to give you an idea of what it is like at an NCAA volleyball practice.West Florida will next play host to a pair of Gulf South Conference opponents this weekend at the UWF Field House. UWF will face Christian Brothers on Friday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. CT before playing host to Union (Tenn.) on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. CT.For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.#ARGOS#  Print Friendly Version UWF sophomore Tori Martella gets mic’d up UWF sophomore Tori Martella gets mic’d up at a UWF volleyball practice. (Photo by UWF Athletic Communication) center_img Sharelast_img read more

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