Commenced in January 2007
Paper Count: 30309
Tender Systems and Processes within the Mauritian Construction Industry: Investigating the Predominance of International Firms and the Lack of Absorptive Capacity in Local Firms
Abstract:Mauritius, a developing small-island-state, is facing a recession which is having a considerable economic impact particularly on its construction sector. Further, the presence of foreign entities, both as companies and workers, within this sector is creating a very competitive environment for local firms. This study investigates the key drivers that allow foreign firms to participate in this sector, in particular looking at the international and local tender processes, and the capacity of local industry to participate. This study also looks at how the current set up may hinder the latter’s involvement. The methodology used included qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted with established foreign companies, local companies, and public bodies. Study findings indicate: there is an adequate availability of professional skills and expertise within the Mauritian construction industry but a lack of skilled labour especially at the operative level; projects awarded to foreign firms are either due to their uniqueness and hence lack of local knowledge, or due to foreign firms having lower tender bids; tendering systems and processes are weak, including monitoring and enforcement, which encourages corruption and favouritism; a high lev el of ignorance of this sector’s characteristics and opportunities exists amongst the local population; local entities are very profit oriented and have short term strategies that discourage long term investment in workforce training and development; but most importantly, stakeholders do not grasp the importance of encouraging youngsters to join this sector, they have no long term vision, and there is a lack of mutual involvement and collaboration between them. Although local industry is highly competent, qualified and experienced, the tendering and procurement systems in Mauritius are not conducive enough to allow for effective strategic planning and an equitable allocation of projects during an economic downturn so that the broadest spread of stakeholders’ benefit. It is of utmost importance that all sector and government entities collaborate to formulate strategies and reforms on tender processes and capacity building to ensure fairness and continuous growth of this sector in Mauritius.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1111612Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1331
 Phiri and Kannan. (2014). African Economic Outlook: Mauritius 2014. AfDB, OECD, UNDP. http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/ fileadmin/uploads/aeo/2014/PDF/CN_Long_EN/Maurice_EN.pdf (Accessed 27 April 2015)
 Le Matinal (2015). ‘Les contracteurs locaux réclament des contrats.’ Mauritius, Port-Louis.
 Lutchmeepersad, V. (2013). A Strategy Paper for the Construction Industry. Construction Industry Board. Mauritius.
 MLIRET (2014). National Employment Policy for Mauritius. Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training. Mauritius: MLIRET. http://labour.govmu.org/English//DOCUMENTS/FOURTH %20DRAFT%20NEP%20-%2015.10.2014.PDF (Accessed 1 May 2015)
 Appasamy, K. (2015). The Mauritian Construction Industry: Investigating all aspects of the tender bidding process. MSc dissertation. Department of Civil Engineering, School of Natural and Built Environments, Kingston University: London.
 Drewer, S. (1980). Construction and Development: A New Perspective, Habitat International. 5 No. ¾. 395-428.
 Turin, D. A. (1973). The Construction Industry: Its economic significance and its role in development. 2nd ed. Building Economics Research Unit. University College London.
 Moavenzadeh, F. (1978). Construction in developing countries, World Development, 6 No. 1. 97-116.
 Ofori, G. (2000). Challenges of Construction Industries in Developing Countries: Lessons from Various Countries, 2nd International Conference on Construction in Developing Countries: Challenges Facing the Construction Industry in Developing Countries, Gaborone, November, 15-17.
 Ofori, G., Leong, C., Pin, T. (2002). Impact of foreign contractors on Singapore construction industry: a qualitative study, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 9 No. 1. 16-28
 Ofori, G. (1988). Construction industry and economic growth in Singapore, Construction Management and Economics, 6 No. 1. 57-70.
 Stressman, P. A., Wells, J. (1988) Introduction. In P. A. Stressman and J. Wells (eds) The Global Construction Industry. New York: Unwin Hyman.
 Raftery, J., Pasadilla, B., Chiang, Y. H., Hui, E. C. M., Tang, B. S. (1998). Globalisation and construction industry development: implications of recent developments in the construction sector in Asia, Construction Management and Economics, 16, 729-737.
 Ofori, G. (2007). Construction in Developing Countries, Construction Management and Economics, 25, 1-6.
 Cockburn, C. (1970). Construction in Overseas Development: A search for appropriate aid and trade measures for the 1970’s. Overseas Development Institute, London.
 Abbott, P. G. (1985). Technology Transfer in the Construction Industry. The Economist Intelligence Unit, London.
 Carillo, P. (1994). Technology transfer: A survey of international construction companies, Construction Management and Economics, 12, 45-51.
 Ofori, G. (1991). Programmes for improving the performance of contracting firms in developing countries: A review of approaches and appropriate options, Construction Management and Economics, 11, 175-185.
 Lewis, W. A. (1955). The Theory of Economic Growth, London.
 Adnan, E., Khalid, A., Sherif, M. (2006). Causes of contractor’s business failure in developing countries: the case of Palestine. Journal of Construction in Developing Countries, 11 No. 2, 1-14.
 Ofori, G. (1994). Practice of Construction Industry Development at the Crossroads. Habitat International, 18 No. 2, 41-56.
 National Construction Council (2005). Construction Industry Policy. Tanzania. http://www.tanzania.go.tz/egov_uploads/documents/jj_sw.pdf (Accessed 3 May 2015)
 Edmonds, G. A. (1979). The construction industry in developing countries. International Labour Review. 118 No. 3, 355-369.
 Laryea, S. A. (2010) Challenges and opportunities facing contractors in Ghana. West Africa Built Environment Research (WABER) Conference, 27-28 July 2010, Accra, Ghana, 215-226. http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/16282/ (Accessed 4 May 2015)
 Rwelamila, P. M. D. (2007). Project management competence in public sector infrastructure organisations. Construction Management and Economics, 25, 55-66.
 Debrah, Y. A., Ofori, G. (2005). ‘Emerging managerial competencies of professionals in the Tanzanian construction industry.’ International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16 No. 8, 1399-1414.
 Tampoe, M. (1994). Exploiting the Core Competencies of Your Organisation. Long Range Planning, 27 No. 4, 66-77.
 Kululanga, G. (2012). Capacity building of construction industries in Sub-Saharan developing countries: A case for Malawi, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 19 No. 1. 86-100.
 Loosemore, M., Dainty, A.R.J., Lingard, H. (2003). Managing People in Construction Projects: Strategic and Operational Approaches. London: Taylor & Francis.
 Murray, P.E., Cotgrave, A.J. (2007). Sustainability literacy: the future paradigm for construction education? Journal of Structural Survey, 25 No. 1, 7-23.
 Lazar, F. (2000). Project partnering: improving the likelihood of win/win outcomes. Journal of Management in Engineering, 16 No. 2, 71-83.
 Miles, D., Neale, R. (1991). Building for Tomorrow: International experience in construction industry development. International Labour Office, Geneva.
 Jaulim, F. (2015). Plaisance: SOS aerogare en detresse. L’express: Infrastructures, Mauritius. http://www.lexpress.mu/article/267204/video-plaisance-sos-aerogare-en-detresse (Accessed 2 September 2015)
 Human Resource Development Council (2014). Training Grant System. Mauritius. http://www.hrdc.mu/index.php/training-grant-system (Accessed 4 September 2015)
 Kirmani, S. (1988). The construction industry in development: Issues and options. Discussion Paper. Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, World Bank Washington, D.C
 Chand, G. (1989). The World Bank in Fiji: The case of the Suva-Nandi highways reconstruction project. Development and Change, 20 No. 2, 235-268