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Where’s this revised Act?

It’s time that the Construction Act is pushed through to cut costs. By Richard Noble

What happened to the review of The Construction Act, which originally aimed to reduce confrontation and give us better cash flow and fair pay?

Instead of the long-awaited improvement, all we have is guidance from the Office of Government Commerce on best procurement practice, urging the public sector to lead the way.

And what happens? Over-complex demands are placed on tenderers and subcontractors are faced with a proliferation of schemes and form filling, as each player attempts to set up his own compliance package.

Faced with the demands of these schemes, one beleaguered subcontractor says: “We invest large sums in the independent assessment of our operation.

“Why should we have to spend more money to buy in to each contractor’s scheme?

“We pay independent health and safety consultants to audit our systems. We have an environmental policy.

“We are audited for Notified Body Approval on the design of our products. This costs money too. And now, more contractors want money to join their schemes.”

What is the point of all this if contractors ask for up to £3,000 to join a pre-tender scheme? The idea behind best practice is to cut the time and money wasted on forms.

The industry should simplify procedures and cut costs.

Richard Noble is chief executive of the Confederation of Construction Specialists