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Government must set a standard in procurement

LETTERS

Sir, I was most concerned to read your front page article on July 24 regarding the fraud investigation involving McLaughlan Scaffolding.

My concerns are twofold: firstly, the fact that any issue such as this is liable to taint the industry in general and is, therefore, to be deplored.

Secondly, the Ministry of Defence is obviously not specifying National Access and Scaffolding Confederation membership as a pre-requisite to engagement on MoD contracts.

In addition to all the obvious aspects, such as adherence to Government policies on training and qualifying the workforce, our member companies follow a rigorous code of conduct which is audited on an annual basis.

This offers the client some assurances regarding the quality and standard of service that can be expected of scaffolding contractors and would certainly help protect against issues such as the one highlighted above.

If Government departments are unwilling to show a lead in specifying NASC members, then we will face an uphill struggle in convincing the private sector of the need to raise industry standards in quality, competence, health and safety and, dare I say, basic honesty.

Brian Houston president, NASC London EC2