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Use adjudication, keep out of court


Sir, THE LETTER from J D Evans (Construction News, July 20) about the Constructors Liaison Group's (CLG) report to construction minister Nick Raynsford raises the point that payment abuse is still rife within the industry.

It suggests that we at the Constructors Liaison Group ought to have spent more time interviewing those in the field who suffer abuse on a continual basis.

I am happy to confirm to Mr Evans that we did do as he suggested and, as a result, our detailed survey does provide a clear indication of what is actually going on in the industry.

The study of main contractor's subcontract forms was only one part of CLG's monitoring of the Act.

Most of this empirical data was gathered from a wide range of specialist contracting companies but we also took into account the many oral reports made to us by our members.

These corroborated our study and confirmed that there is still much work to be done to eliminate the type of practices which Mr Evans describes and which are all too often a part of daily life for specialist contractors.

Mr Evans is too pessimistic, however. The Construction Act gives us valuable extra rights, and he is wrong to suggest that he can do nothing unless he goes to court.

Adjudication is quick and cost-effective - use your rights and adjudicate if it is necessary, Mr Evans - don't go to court.

There is also good news about a review of the Act.

The construction minister has reacted in a positive manner to our endeavours, and the industry can now look forward to an assessment of the operation of the Act by the Construction Industry Board.

The Constructors Liaison Group and its members will be looking to the Board for robust leadership on this matter, and we hope that this cross-industry review will be constructive and provide the much-needed impetus for positive change.

John Harrower Chairman Constructors Liaison Group 34 Palace Court London W2