22 July 2008 | Jake Kanter
The government should create the post of chief construction officer to play a "vital" part in overseeing industry procurement, a group of MPs has urged.
The parliamentary Business and Enterprise Committee (BEC) called for the role's creation in its Construction Matters report, a strategic review of the UK construction industry.
The building chief would act as a single point of contact between the industry and the public sector and have the ability to influence policy across government departments. It is hoped the figure would help the sector tackle short- and long-term "major challenges", including better procurement and the current economic downturn.
The report also recommended the OGC be given greater resources to help it become an "enforcer" of best practice construction procurement. It said the government is not doing enough to engage with the supply chain early on in the purchasing process. This is key to building collaboration, driving savings and ensuring a better product is delivered.
Peter Luff MP, chairman of the BEC, said the public sector's interaction with the industry is "patchy and ineffective" and a chief construction officer would provide a stronger and clearer government presence.
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is expected to respond to the report in mid-October.