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Government urged to enhance building regulator’s power

As the board charged with implementing the new Building Safety Regulator meets this week and the Government begins to frame its legislation, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group has called for enhanced powers for the Regulator.

The SEC Group represents the largest value sector in UK construction and is urging the Government to ensure that the Regulator has wide enough powers to deal with all matters affecting building safety.

In her report, ‘Building a Safer Future’, Dame Judith Hackitt stated that building safety was being compromised by poor procurement processes (seeking lowest price outcomes) and adversarial contractual/payment practices that require small firms at the end of construction supply chains to pick up all project-related risks.

Dame Hackitt called for a collaborative partnership between building clients and their delivery teams as well as fair treatment for all suppliers.

The SEC Group is calling on the Government to give specific powers to the Regulator:

  • to draw up a code of ethical commercial behaviours and impose sanctions where the code is breached, and
  • to promote procurement decisions based upon team-working (including all key suppliers) from the outset of project design and planning processes.

For some years the SEC Group has been urging governments to pilot insurance-backed alliancing that ensures team-working and the adoption of robust risk management processes to address all project risks including those relating to building safety.

18 February 2020

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