§ Mr. Sims
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his proposals for a review of procurement and contracting arrangements in the construction industry; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Baldry
I have today chaired a meeting of representatives of the construction industry at which it was unanimously agreed to appoint Sir Machael Latham to undertake a review of procurement and contracting arrangements in the construction industry. We want less litigation and conflict and more productivity in the construction industry.
Sir Michael will begin work later this month and complete the review within 12 months. An interim report will be produced by the end of the year. Sir Michael will be assisted by a number of specialist assessors who will channel the views of their respective organisations. Where appropriate, groups of client and contracting organisations will stand behind the assessors and provide representative opinion on key issues.
The review will be jointly funded by the Department of the Environment, the Construction Industry Council, the Construction Industry Employers Council, the National Specialist Contractors Council and the Specialist 5W Engineering Contractors Group. It will be closely supported by a number of other bodies, in particular the British Property Federation and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
The terms of reference of the review, which have been placed in the Library, require Sir Michael to consider the current procurement and contractual arrangements, and the roles and responsibilities of all participants in a contract. Sir Michael's objective will be to present recommendations to Government and other bodies about practical reforms to reduce conflict and litigation and to encourage productivity and competitiveness.