SEC Group calls for new regulatory authority

Trevor Hursthouse, SEC Group, regulatory authority
Trevor Hursthouse OBE

Trevor Hursthouse OBE, chair of the SEC Group, has called for a regulatory authority for the construction sector.

Speaking on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the SEC Group, Hursthouse said the authority is needed to regulate industry practice.

“In the last two years there has been an outpouring of reports on construction which have all come to similar conclusions. Past evidences suggest that these are unlikely to lead significant improvement. What is now required is a properly resourced regulatory authority for construction that steers the industry in the direction of best practice delivery.”

The SEC Group proposal is for a Construction and Infrastructure Authority. It would replicate some of the powers already associated with regulatory authorities for energy, telecoms and rail. The remit of such an Authority would include areas such as oversight of procurement practices of public practices; intervening in cases of supply chain abuse; driving the digital agenda for construction; and raising industry standards of technical capability through promotion of schemes for accrediting competent businesses.

Hursthouse drew on an example from Asia: “For almost 20 years, Singaporean construction has benefited from its Building and Construction Authority – a government agency – which has created a more efficient industry in Singapore that prides itself on being able to consistently deliver projects safely, within time and budget.”

SEC Group is an umbrella body representing the largest sector in UK construction by value. Members include BESA, ECA, SELECT and SNIPEF among others.

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