Academics to focus on Futures for research project

Futures Housing Group has been chosen by prestigious King's College London as a focus of new academic research into the impact of a pioneering approach to procurement. 

The research, led by the College's Centre of Construction Law and Dispute Resolution, will look at how Futures, its partners and customers have been impacted by the brand new Framework Alliance Contract (FAC-1) which gives smaller businesses the chance to secure large contracts with organisations. 

Futures, a housing provider which manages around 9,100 homes throughout the East Midlands, was the first organisation in the world in August 2016 to adopt the new FAC-1 standard form framework agreement which was authored by Professor David Mosey at King’s College. 

It makes it easier for small and medium sized business to win slices of large contracts which were traditionally won by larger companies. 

World's first 

John Thornhill, Procurement and Contracts Manager at Futures Housing Group, said: "We are delighted to have been selected by King's College as the focus of this research project. We were the first in the world to adopt the new framework for contracts which has helped us reduce our costs, give more work to smaller, local businesses and generally improve the way we work. 

"Our hope is that we will make an important case study which help other organisations get more for their money while giving smaller businesses the opportunity to thrive and grow by winning chunks of lucrative contracts." 

Since the new framework was introduced in August, Futures has already seen a reduction in the amount it spends on contractors. 

And in its first six months, the FAC-1 has been used in numerous procurements, with values ranging from £7.5m to £2.8bn in the public and private sectors. 

Early impression 

Academics at King's have been impressed by the way Futures have used the contract for value for money but also the social value impact. 

Christopher Howard, lead researcher and senior lecturer at King's College, said: "The FAC-1 contract is already creating ripples within the law school. The research project will look at what users are doing with the contract and it will enable us to develop a rigorous method for scrutinising data. 

"Our findings will be published in the future and will help other organisations understand the impact of the framework from customer, supplier, partner and organisational perspectives." 

The research will be published in academic journals and it is hoped the approach will help reduce industrial contractual disputes in future. 

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