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10Feb94 UK: EDITORIAL - TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

Too slow. Too expensive. Too tied up with complex contractual arrangements.The picture of the UK construction industry which emerges from the last will and testament of NEDO, courtesy of consultant Clive Priestley, is none too flattering.It's also none too original - though, to be fair, Mr Priestley's interim report almost a year ago made much the same points and pre-dated similarly critical work by Stanhope, Latham and others.Where Mr Priestley's analysis scores is that it is independent and distilled from a wide consensus, which is what NEDO, for all its faults, offered.So when he says that 'registration is plainly needed' to overcome the problems of self-employment, he is repeating a view expressed by those with a vested interest, but reinforcing it with the implicit backing of those without an axe to grind.Similarly, when he calls for greater client involvement in the construction process, or less hierarchical organisation on sites, he may be pre-empting what Sir Michael Latham will eventually conclude, but he has a different perspective which is worthy of attention. The usual fate of the last will and testament is that it gets read once, then forgotten. NEDO's construction effort deserves better than that. It may not be a comfortable or flattering read; but it gets to the heart of the matter. CONSTRUCTION NEWS