The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group call for Government to establish a Construction and Infrastructure Authority

The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group call for Government to establish a Construction and Infrastructure Authority

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

SEC Group chairman, Trevor Hursthouse says:  

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

The ICM fully supports the call from the SEC ...

ICM's Director of Education and Training, David Jones adds:

"Standards in a number of vital and crucial areas of industry have been on a downward trend for a considerable time - for example in my own industry Construction, the professionals have been struggling now for over 24 years to properly get to grips with the UK's enactment of the originating EU Directive 92/57/EEC when the then Government put the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations onto the Statute Book in 1994!"

"Although the EU's Directive has entirely remained unchanged over all that time setting out it's clear message, the UK has made three re-enactments to 'get it right' - at each new edition extensive and lengthy consultations failed to deliver 'competence' each for different reasons each time! - perhaps, with the benefit of 24 years hindsight, things may have been better had the UK simply enacted the Directive as written directly unchanged? - who knows! - but, over the time the UK created new roles with statutory duties such as Planning Supervisors who neither planned nor supervised; and CDM Coordinators who largely didn't; and, the latest iteration has shifted the role directly onto the designers who are in charge of the design stage but they now largely avoid that responsibility by passing on to defunct CDM Coordinators who appear to have morphed into CDM Support Consultants to the designers who don't do CDM!"

"I am proud the ICM Executive has made its bold decision to create the new and innovative National CDM Competence Registry™® and will now engage widely and openly with Government and its enforcing agencies, the sector professional bodies and trade associations, and all the organisations representing the interests of users of our nations property portfolio ... the official launch I made in the Skills Hub at London Build 2018 at London Olympia marked the start of properly understanding the cultural change that has to happen to save lives!"

"I am pleased to add my voice to the growing calls that enough is enough, the race to the bottom is run - with Grenfell I believe that's 'the bottom'! - the only way is up!"     

 Ed.

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