03 October 2008 | Jake Kanter
The government is in talks with representatives from the construction industry and public sector bodies over a decision to appoint a chief construction officer.
Earlier this year MPs on the parliamentary Business and Enterprise Committee called for the creation of the post to play a "vital" part in overseeing industry procurement (Web news, 22 July 2008).
The building chief would act as a single point of contact between the construction sector and the public sector and have the ability to influence policy across government departments. The figure would also work with the OGC to promote best practice procurement.
Business secretary John Hutton said in a statement: "The construction industry is very broad and almost uniquely impacted by a wide range of government departments both through policy and, as a client, through procurement."
He said the government has known for "some time" that the industry needs more support from Whitehall and its procurement practices must be more joined-up. Hutton added a construction sector champion would help the government remain "consistent and focused" in dealings with the industry.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said it was too early to confirm when the government will make a decision on the post.