Construction needs statutory regulator say specialists

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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Specialist engineering contractors have joined the call for a statutory authority to regulate construction.

 SEC Group chairman Trevor Hursthouse says construction needs a regulatory body to drive through procurement and payment reform
SEC Group chairman Trevor Hursthouse says construction needs a regulatory body to drive through procurement and payment reform

A new body could have powers similar to the utility regulators. Statutory powers could be used to steer construction in the direction of best practice in procurement through to payment and promote registration of business competence.

The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, marked its 25th anniversary, with the call for Government to establish a Construction and Infrastructure Authority. 

SEC Group chairman, Trevor Hursthouse said:  “In the last two years there has been an outpouring of reports on construction – most generated by the Grenfell tragedy and the Carillion collapse – which have all come to similar conclusions.

“Past evidences suggests that these are unlikely to lead to significant improvement.  What is now required is a properly resourced regulatory authority for construction that steers the industry in the direction of best practice delivery.”

Construction and Infrastructure Authority proposed remit

  • Challenging bad procurement practice and highlighting strategies to deliver projects collaboratively
  • Ensure socio-economic benefits of public sector procurement are delivered
  • Intervene where there is supply chain abuse
  • Promote greater SME engagement with the procurement process;
  • Raise standards of technical capability, promoting schemes for accrediting competent businesses;
  • Drive digital agenda for construction.

SEC argues that the Construction and Infrastructure Authority should also have the power to act in an advisory capacity for private sector construction. 

In the public sector, it should have enforcement teeth imposing penalties on public bodies for poor practice or failure to comply with statutory responsibilities. 

Such power could also extend to excluding suppliers from public procurement for poor performance including abuse of supply chains.

Hursthouse said: “For almost 20 years Singaporean construction has benefited from its Building and Construction Authority – a government agency – which has created a more efficient industry in Singapore that prides itself on being able to consistently deliver projects safely and within time and budget.”

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