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Construction regulatory authority called for

28 November 2018

Trevor Hursthouse OBE, chair of the Specialist Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group, has called for a statutory authority to be established for the construction sector.

Due to the close ties between FM and construction, this has the potential to have a significant impact on both sectors if it is established.

Mr Hursthouse was speaking at the celebratory event to mark the SEC's 25th anniversary yesterday in Westminster.

He referred to the Grenfell tragedy and the Carillion collapse, both of which have had a significant impact on construction and FM.

However, Mr Hursthouse stated that: "Past evidence 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."

The body would replicate some of the powers associated with regulatory bodies for water, energy, telecoms and rail.

Areas of focus for the construction and infrastructure authority would include public project procurement practices, challenging bad practice and highlighting collaborative working best practice.

It would also ensure the benefits of public sector procurement are delivered and intervene in cases of supply chain abuse.

There were several references to late pay in yesterday's speeches from both SEC representatives and others, linking with its continuing drive to have retention payments legally protected.

The example of Carillion was again used to emphasise the need for this, with £2bn in retention fees outstanding and unlikely to be paid following the company's collapse earlier this year.

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