President calls for positive action

A ground-breaking report on the construction sector is providing
an agenda for action that could help Government to improve its procurement procedures and the industry to ensure that its working practices are truly world-class.

The report, which has been published by the House of Commons Business and Enterprise Select Committee, picks up many of the concepts, and many of the solutions, which the specialist engineering sector has been developing and promoting for more than a decade, according to HVCA President Gareth Vaughan.
“In addition to project bank accounts -which are already gaining favour with a number of clients – these include the early involvement of the supply chain in the procurement process and an end to the use of retention clauses in public sector contracts,” Mr Vaughan told his audience at the HVCA President’s Luncheon.
The over-riding message was that positive action was required if best practice was to be implemented throughout the construction sector, not just from Government, but also from professionals, equipment suppliers, specifiers and the contracting industry itself.
“History has taught that doing today what we did yesterday is simply not good enough and that all industries, including ours, must adapt to survive and must innovate to prosper.”
Mr Vaughan went on to refer to the Association’s commitment to the promotion of positive reform that would encourage higher standards,
fairer working practices, increased quality and greener solutions.
I believe we now have an opportunity to drive forward such reform,
to change for the better the way we do business,” the president insisted.
And he urged the construction industry to offer its enthusiastic backing to the select committee’s proposals – and Government to incorporate them without delay into its procurement strategies.
During his address, Gareth Vaughan also referred to the series of reforming initiatives that had derived from the construction industry report published by Sir Michael Latham back in 1994 – and to the Government review of the contracts legislation contained in Part II of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.
“I am pleased to be able to confirm that amendments to the legislation will almost certainly be introduced during the course of the next Parliament, and I am even more pleased that the proposals appear to include many of the measures for which the HVCA and the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group have long been campaigning.”

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