At least 80 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire © PA Images
At least 80 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire © PA Images

Procurement is 'missing piece of puzzle' in Grenfell Tower inquiry

Architectural trade body RIBA has criticised the Grenfell Tower enquiry for not examining the procurement background to the disaster.

RIBA president Jane Duncan described as “disappointing” the fact that the terms of the inquiry do not explicitly mention the overall procurement context for the construction of buildings in the UK.

“We consider this examination crucial to understanding the often complicated division of design responsibilities and the limited level of independent oversight of construction,” Duncan said.

She said this background “pervades” many current building procurement approaches prevalent in the public and housing association sectors.

“Such regulatory and procurement concerns should not be dismissed as they would have helped set the full context for the decisions that were made at Grenfell Tower and at other residential buildings,” she said.

“This is the missing piece of the puzzle and we will continue to make this case over the course of the inquiry, to the UK government and others.”

Campaigners have expressed wider concerns about the scope of the enquiry being conducted by Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

Last week Theresa May announced the inquiry would take place and cover the cause and spread of the fire, which left at least 80 people dead, as well as the design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

It would also look at the width and adequacy of regulations relating to high-rise buildings, and if these were complied with, as well as the actions of Kensington and Chelsea council, London Fire Brigade and other organisations.

Sir Martin refused calls from social campaigners to widen the inquiry to include consideration of social housing policy.

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