Architecture and engineering tenders: dramatic reduction in public demand in the first two months


Emma Potter

In the two-month period, the value of tenders above the EU threshold and integrated procurement fell

The tenders that exceed the EU threshold of 215,000 euros they saw a decrease of 70.5% in value and 66.3% in number, compared to the two months of last year.

Furthermore, even the integrated procurementthe have recorded a decline, with only 94 tenders for a value of 693.9 million euros in works, marking a decrease of 78.2% compared to the first two months of 2023, and a drop of 85.2% in the value of executive design services.

Interesting to note how, despite the crisis, 23.6% of design tenders with amount over 140,000 euros only request the limitation of discounts to expenses only, breaking away from the more common practice of a single discount. This indicates a partial attention to quality and economic sustainability of the proposals, albeit in a context of marked contraction of job opportunities in the sector.

Gaps in the new procurement code and necessary updating of the parameters decree

The situation is further aggravated by the fact that almost half of the design tenders require technical requirements based on periods of 5 or 10 years, compared to the traditional 3 years, following the guidelines of the OICE standard tender. This could represent a barrier to entry for new professional realities and for young engineering and architecture firms.

Giorgio Lupoirepresenting the observatory, underlines the gravity of the situationhighlighting a “vertiginous drop in public demand” and necessity urgent of a technical comparison with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT) to address the critical issues of the sector, including gaps in the new procurement code And the need for an update of the parameters decree.

We need to reflect again on the centrality of the project

The recession in the public engineering and architecture tenders sector is a alarm bell which draws attention not only to the immediate economic consequences for the businesses and professionals involved but also to the wider impact on the country's infrastructural and urban development. The reduction of public tenders significantly limits the possibilities for innovation and improvement of the Italian urban and infrastructural fabric, putting at risk sustainable growth and the quality of life in cities and territories.

OICE believes that it is time to start pushing for the implementation of some parts of the new code that have remained on hold until now, such as the simplification of qualification on the SOA modeland perhaps reflect on it again centrality of the project.

From the press release by Andrea Mascolini, General Director OICE