Chris Blythe’s views in his article ‘Will OFT deal tackle competition issue?’ (CM September) are rather mean spirited and some of his facts are inaccurate
At no time did the Construction Confederation or UKCG claim the industry was ‘not guilty’. Nor did we blame the client. What we tried to do in April 2008 was balance the hostile press reaction to the accusations with the facts: that cover pricing was not the most serious breach of competition law and it was largely historic because modern procurement methods take away the opportunity for taking covers. We made it clear the motivation for the practice was solely to avoid winning work – not to make money by rigging the market.
The motivation for the Code of Competition compliance is to provide confidence to clients that the industry has put its house in order and that contractors have mechanisms in place to reduce the risk of future breaches of the law. It does not suggest many thousands of contractors have broken the law.
Last year Chris Blythe castigated us for not tackling the problem. Now he criticises a response that has been widely welcomed throughout the industry and by the OFT. So come on Chris, give us a break and support this initiative.
Stephen Ratcliffe, director of UKGC and former chief executive of the Construction Confederation