A LOCAL government body has written to 300 council chiefs warning them to be on their guard against construction cartels.
The move follows the swoop on two offices of Mowlem by Office of Fair Trading investigators earlier this month.
Paul O'Brien, chief executive of the Association for Public Service Excellence, said: 'It is an absolute imperative that value for money is achieved.
That will be lost if cartels are allowed to flourish.' The three-page guidance note tells councils to ask for bids to be broken down into as much detail as possible 'so that it is possible to see where a bid departs from any rational estimate and obtain a signed declaration of non-collusion by each bidder'.
The OFT confirmed this week that it is still continuing its investigation into Mowlem.
The offices of Morgan Sindall's building company, Bluestone, have also been raided by OFT investigators in recent weeks.