Friday, December 9, 2011

Chief Construction Officer Needed To Tackle The Problem Of The Fragmentation Of Construction Policy

The construction industry provides employment for more than 2.8 million people. The sector contributed 8.7% of the UK economy's gross value-added (GVA) in 2006, and generated some £10 billion of exports. The public sector is the industry's biggest customer, accounting for around a third of output.

The Business and Enterprise Committee has published its Report, Construction Matters (HC 127-1), a major strategic review of the UK's construction industry. It calls on the Government to create a new post of "Chief Construction Officer" to tackle the problem of the fragmentation of construction policy and procurement across government, and to set the industry on the right footing to tackle the major challenges it faces both in the short and long term.

"Acting at a senior level as 'champion' of the sector, the postholder would provide a single point of engagement between the industry and the public sector, having operational involvement in policy and regulatory matters across departments," the report recommends.

Peter Luff MP, Chairman of the Committee said: "When the committee began its work on the construction industry its commercial position was strong. Now industry, and particularly the house building sector, is facing a major downturn, yet it still generates over £100 billion of value-added for the UK economy-more than twice that of the energy, automotive and aerospace sectors combined. The public sector is by far its largest client and can drive change across the industry.

"We need to take action to address the issues identified in this report, irrespective of the business climate in which the industry is operating. We agree with the industry that coordination on policy between the many Government departments that engage with and impact upon this vital industry is patchy and ineffective. We believe the appointment of a Chief Construction Officer would provide a single point of engagement between the industry and the public sector and so give this vital industry a stronger and clearer presence in government."


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