The procurement of professional planning services for roading projects under a competitive pricing regime : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The introduction of the Transit New Zealand Act changed the provisions for purchasing professional services for the development of roading projects. This change was consistent with the wider shift of the public sector towards greater transparency and accountability, and the separation of the roles of the funder, purchaser and provider of government services. The Act states that all professional services contracts for the development of roading projects are to be contracted out to the private sector by tender, with the selection of consultant determined by a Competitive Pricing Procedure (CPP). This study has been undertaken as a preliminary assessment of the factors that influence the implementation of competitive tendering for professional services and its impact on planning practice in New Zealand. The study is based on a literature review and original research. Surveys were undertaken with representatives from both the consultants and tendering authorities with experience in CPP, to obtain their views on different aspects of the tendering procedures adopted by Transfund New Zealand. Follow up interviews were also carried out with key representatives involved in the market to identify their responses to the survey results. It is concluded that there are significant differences in perception of the effectiveness of the implementation of the CPP between suppliers and purchasers, particularly with the planning services associated with roading projects. Consultants consider that they must put in the most competitive price in order to win a contract. This, they believe, compromises the quality of planning services by limiting the number of interested and affected parties that can be consulted, by favouring the simplest method of evaluation of environmental effects, and by discouraging the use of the best people for the job.