CONSTRUCTION minister Margaret Hodge has said the DTI will start another consultation on changes to the Construction Act by the beginning of next year.
Speaking on her first site visit since she took up the post in May at Heathrow's T5 project, she said: 'We will be going out to consultation again at the end of this year.'
The second round of consultations will follow an initial industry sounding exercise held in the summer of 2005. The next consultation will not be completed until the third anniversary of the review of the Act, which was originally announced by chancellor Gordon Brown in March 2004.
Ms Hodge is the third minister to have overseen the longrunning review, following the reshuffles of former ministers Nigel Griffiths and Alun Michael.
A ministerial aide said: 'With important legislation like this, it is more important to get it right than to rush things through.'
It is understood that the DTI will carry out a more detailed consultation on the 'payment certificate' model unveiled by the department in January to gain more clarity of payment.
Ms Hodge praised T5 for its innovation and health and safety record and said: 'As a Government, we are trying to learn from private sector projects like this. Government is fragmented in its approach as it procures through different bodies like local authorities and health trusts. Spreading best practice rather than prescribing best practice from on high is the way forward.'
The minister met industry umbrella groups on Tuesday to discuss targets in the Construction Commitments 2012 best practice blueprint for Olympic construction work set out in July.
She said: 'The Games as a catalyst for the industry are incredibly important.'
One senior industry source said: 'Until we actually tackle the payment issues in the industry through a reform of the Act's provisions on payment, efforts to introduce a truly integrated construction industry and best practice are going to be stymied.'