An analysis of public sector prequalification procedures in Northern Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The recent findings of two Northern Ireland procurement court casesusing the ‘restricted procedure’ have European wide implications. Theperceptions of having a ‘prequalification’ stage in addition to ‘quality/price’ areresearched; parts of the prequalification questionnaire (PQQ) are analysed andranked in importance. Economic operator perceptions are investigated onprojects above the European threshold using the restricted procedure. Findingsconfirm practitioners understand the court decisions ranking the evaluation of‘previous experience’ as the most important part within the prequalificationstage. There is ambivalence regarding PQQ’s providing value for money(VFM): 49% consider it does not provide additional VFM compared to thesingle stage process. The majority of organisations (62%) use externalconsultants when preparing PQQ submissions. Findings show the court caseshave resulted in PQQ’s becoming more generic, an innovative response is nolonger possible as it will be outside the scoring matrix. Practitioners providedsuggestions on improving the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
JournalInternational Journal of Procurement Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Bartlett, J.E., Kotrlik, J.W. and Higgins, C.C. (2001) ‘Organisational research: determining
appropriate sample size in survey research’, in Information Technology, Learning, and
Performance Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp.43–50.
Basheka, B. and Bisangabasaija, E. (2010) ‘Determinants of unethical public procurement in local
government systems of Uganda: a case study’, International Journal of Procurement
Management, Vol. 3, No. 1 pp.94–104.
Bing, X. and Xia, G. (2010) ‘Analysis on the pre-qualification system of construction project
bidding’, ICEE, pp.2652–2655, Proceedings of 2010 International Conference on E-Business
and E-Government, 2010, available at
(accessed on 16 July 2011).
Brook, M. (2004) Estimating and Tendering for Construction Work, 3rd ed.,
Butterworth-Heinemann, England.
BSI/PAS 91 (2010) ‘Construction related procurement – prequalification questionnaires’,
available at
construction-procurement.pdf (accessed on 11 May 2011).
Chan, D. and Kumaraswamy, D. (2001) ‘A comparative study of causes of time overruns in
Hong Kong construction projects’, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 15,
No. 1, pp.55–63.
Costantino, N., Falagario, M. and Iacobellis, G. (2008) ‘Reducing the costs of public tenders: a
modest proposal’, in Proceedings of 3rd International Public Procurement Conference
Proceedings, 28–30 August, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, available at (accessed on 16 July 2011).
CourtsNI (2007) Henry Brothers (Magherafelt) Limited, F B McKee and Company Limited and
Desmond Scott and Philip Ewing trading as Woodvale Construction Company Limited –v-
Department of Education, Neutral Citation no. [2007] NIQB 116 available at
97A64C3D0EA3/0/j_j_COG7018Final.htm (accessed on 12 May 2011).
CourtsNI (2008) McLaughlin and Harvey Limited -v- Department of Finance and Personnel
[No. 2], Neutral Citation no.: [2008] NIQB 91 [Online], available at
AD50EA3209C4/0/j_j_DEE7249FINAL.htm (accessed on 11 May 2011).
CPDNI (2004) ‘Public procurement: a guide for small and medium sized enterprises’, available at
(accessed on 10 May 2011).
CPDNI (2007) ‘Procurement strategy for works and services’, available at
orate_-_contract_strategy_for_isni.pdf (accessed on 10 May 2011).
CPDNI (2010) ‘Procurement guidance note 04/10 selection and prequalification of contractors’,
available at
and_pre-qualification_of_contractors__version_7_dec_2010_.pdf (accessed on 10 September
Craven, R and Olson-Welsh, J (2008) ‘Court brings down framework agreement’, pp.33–35,
available at
(accessed on 10 May 2011).
E&I Procurement Taskforce (2011) ‘Buying smarter in tougher times: conclusions and
recommendations of the EIB procurement taskforce’, available at
Report.pdf (accessed on 11 May 2011).
Erlendsson (2002) ‘Value for money studies in higher education’, available at (accessed on 12 May 2011).
Eur-Lex (2008) Emm. G. Lianakis AE, Sima Anonymi Techniki Etaireia Meleton kai Epivlepseon
and Nikolaos Vlachopoulos v Dimos Alexandroupolis and Others, European Court reports
2008 Page I-00251, available at
(accessed on 12 May 2011).
Glover, A. (2008) ‘Accelerating the SME economic engine: through transparent, simple and
strategic procurement’, Office of Public Sector Information.
Gransberg, D. (2010) Framework for Performance-Based Contractor Prequalification.
Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2151,
pp.46–54, available at (accessed on
16 July 2011).
Gransberg, D. and Riemer, C. (2009) Performance-Based Construction Contractor Prequalification.
NCHRP Synthesis 390, National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board,
National Cooperative Highway Research Program, American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials, USA, Federal Highway Administration.
Griffith, A., Knight, A. and King, A. (2003) Best Practice Tendering for Design and Build
Projects, Thomas Telford, Ltd., London.
Guijarro, L. (2009) ‘ICT standardisation and public procurement in the United States and in the
European Union: influence on e-government deployment’, Telecommunications Policy,
Vol. 33, Nos. 5–6, pp.285–295.
Krejcie, R.V. and Morgan, D.W. (1970) ‘Determining sample size for research activities’,
Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp.607–610.
Lam, K.C., Ng, S.T., Hu, T., Skitmore, M. and Cheung, S.O. (2000) ‘Decision support system for
contractor pre-qualification – artificial neural network model’, Construction and Architectural
Management, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp.251–266.
Laryea, S. and Hughes, W. (2009) ‘Commercial reviews in the tender process of contractors’,
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp.558–572.
Murdoch, J. and Hughes, W. (2008) Construction Contracts, 4th ed., Taylor & Francis, London.
NIAO (2005) ‘Modernising construction procurement in Northern Ireland’, Northern Ireland Audit
Office Report, available at
(accessed on 10 May 2011).
Office of Government Commerce (OGC) (2005) Office of Government Commerce, Achieving
Excellence 11-Sustainability, available at (accessed on 9 May 2011).
Office of Government Commerce (OGC) (2009) ‘Pre-qualification questionnaire for tender
evaluation’, available at
.asp (accessed on 11 May 2011).
Oyegoke, A., McDermott, P. and Abbott, C. (2009) ‘Achieving sustainability in construction
through the specialist task organisation procurement approach’, International Journal of
Procurement Management, 1 May, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.288–313.
Pavia, P. (2002) ‘Fee percentage a consultant’s view’, NEC Users’ Group Newsletter No. 22 July,
pp.4–5, available at (accessed on
11 May 2011).
PWC (2009) ‘Review of centres of procurement expertise status and policy implementation final
report’, September, available at
_of_procurement_expertise.pdf (accessed on 11 May 2011).
Quigg, E. (2008) ‘Northern Ireland procurement case sends ripples…’, Construction Insight,
No. 27, Autumn Winter, available at
ROI/ROI%20Newsletter%20No27.pdf (accessed on 10 September 2011).
Ramsey, V. Baster, J. Minogue, A. and O’Reilly, M. (2009) ‘Construction Law Handbook 2009’,
Section 1.5, available at
05.pdf (accessed on 10 May 2011).
Sapountzis, S., Yates, K., Kagioglou, M. and Aouad G. (2009) ‘Realising benefits in primary
healthcare infrastructures’, Facilities, Vol. 27, Nos. 3/4, pp.74–87.
Smallbone, D., Kitching, J., Xheneti, M. and Athayde, R. (2009) ‘Procurement and supplier
diversity in the London 2012 Olympic Games’, in Proceedings of ICSB World Conference,
21–24 June, Seoul, available at
(accessed on 16 July 2011).
Smith, N. (2009) Procurement Is the Key to Recovery, Says the OGC, available at (accessed on 10 September 2011).
Stationary Office Limited (2006, Amended 2009) ‘The Public Contracts Regulations 2006’,
available at
(accessed on 16 July 2011).
Thranet (2011) ‘9.Prequalification and Accreditation’, available at (accessed on 11 May 2011).


  • prequalification
  • construction contracts
  • construction
  • procurement
  • law
  • restricted procedure
  • Ireland.


Dive into the research topics of 'An analysis of public sector prequalification procedures in Northern Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this