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IFA standard for advice and procurement
#1
If you are involved un scoping. commissioning, procuring or tendering for archaeological work you should look at the revised draft of the new IfA Standard. It empansises the need for transparency, explicit criteria, and supplier feedback as part of any tender process.
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#2
I think the supplier feedback will be incredibly useful if a) it is not onerous/ b) it has a positive return in the longer term for suppliers c) there is a gradual degree of awareness regarding the process and meaning of archaeology.
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#3
Most feedback as to why we didn't get a contract is 'you were too expensive'
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#4
I've had to advise the occasional contractor that they were far, far too cheap.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#5
That's the difference really? If you cost the job properly to actually do it then half the time you get undercut. Can think of jobs where the lowest tender won, didn't fulfil the brief and ****-all happened. Curators need more teeth and, dare I say it, the will to use them
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#6
Curators rarely get to see the quotation, just the contractor of the developers choice. Lets face it if Walmart/sainsbury/Tesco/Lidle etc etc was an archae co. they would win every time. If Archae co.s were to talk to each other about pricing it would become another race to the bottom of the pond. If the IfA start to stamp their foot again about pricing I do wonder how many will leave the club...
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#7
Yep. There is definitely a market for say, a small group of people to run a company that undercuts the sensible tenders then miraculously fails to find most of or any of the archaeology on a site to come in on or under budget.

Its easy, you just employ inexperienced archaeologists as your project officers, pressure them on the time they have to finish and ignore the difficult to see features cut into the clay, write off early prehistoric pits as tree boles, lose entire sites under a watching brief, that whole are will be preserved cos the footings are over here, trench goes through here and they definitely wont track over it or rip the area......etc etc

'I didn't see any medieval farm/ village during the watching brief'
'Really? So how was the area stripped?'
'With several bulldozers of course.'

Though like the murphys, i'm not bitter
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#8
Jack Wrote:'I didn't see any medieval farm/ village during the watching brief'
'Really? So how was the area stripped?'
'With several bulldozers of course.'

That scenario relies on the Curator specifying/agreeing to a watching brief where there is a realistic expectation that meaningful archaeological remains may be found. And also that they would not adequately monitor such a site.

I steer well clear of watching briefs unless there is only the merest hint of a sniff of a chance that something might turn up, because the cost of construction programme delay is mind bendingly more expensive than just doing a proper staged programme if investigation in the first place.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#9
As a curator and as a consultant I've seen it all.....and horrid it was. The local cheapest unit won with known developers every time, their output was ( and still is) c**p. Their H&S was truly scary, even after complaints. The T&C's of the diggers was pants and pay the worst I had ever known. It continues, and will do so. Its a market (not quality) economy, get used to it folks.
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#10
Curators refusing to sign off PCs occasionally might make a refreshing change?...ok, so any individual curator might only get to do it once...
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