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Govt to consult on 'champion' role

The Government plans to carry out a consultation on a proposed new “champion” role for the construction industry.

Today’s announcement follows the July publication of the Business and Enterprise Committee’s Construction Matters report, which recommended a new post of chief construction officer within the Government.

The new role, a civil service position, would serve as the main point of engagement between industry and Government.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said: "The officer would work with and across government departments to help to ease the problem of fragmentation of construction policy across Government."

Full details of what the post would include will be released following the consultation with industry and public sector bodies.

BERR said duties could include:

- Working with OGC and other organisations to promote best practice in construction procurement;

- Acting as the main point of engagement between Government and industry;

- Helping to oversee the implementation of Government policy, such as the Strategy for Sustainable Construction;

- Championing the industry's image;

- Promoting regulatory consistency across departments; and

- Helping to co-ordinate the timing of major public sector construction programmes or projects.

Business secretary John Hutton said: "The construction industry is very broad and almost uniquely impacted by a wide range of government departments both through policy and, as a client, through procurement.

"We have known for some time that the industry has felt it needs more dedicated Whitehall support and for government departments to be more joined-up and holistic in their approach to procurement and policy development.

"That is why we have embraced the BERR Committee's recommendation regarding the creation of a new role to 'champion' the sector and to ensure that Government remains consistent and focussed in its relationship with this vital sector."