Changes Required to Sustain a Best Value Environment

Authors: Antoinette Bos, Dean Kashiwagi (PhD, P.E.) and Isaac Kashiwagi (M.S.)


The BV environment was introduced into the Netherlands in 2004. By 2008 testing was being done by a partnership between Arizona State University and Scenter (private entity led by Sicco Santema). In 2010, the $1B fast track projects were procured by the Rijkswaterstaat, using the Best Value Procurement. By 2015, instead of the BV approach being treated as just another option, NEVI, the Dutch professional procurement group (third largest procurement group in the world) designated the Best Value Procurement as one of the main stream procurement approaches, and hired a full time Director to guide their Best Value Procurement training programs. However, in three major areas: IT delivery, professional services and the medical arena, buyers and larger-traditional vendors were having difficulty adapting to the approach. The BV approach utilizes the expertise of experts to replace the need for owner management, direction and control (MDC). However, a stumbling block occurred, when a “Best Value” vendor was selected, but did not have their detailed plan as a baseline from which they could identify risk that was outside of their control, their risk mitigation plan, and a simple way to create transparency to help the client/user. This is a case study that shows how the Best Value Approach was requiring a paradigm shift with both the user and the vendor, which neither party was well-prepared for.

Keywords: Best Value, transparency, Netherlands, risk management, Rijkswaterstaat