The House of Commons thinks that Construction Matters. Of course it does, and of the 55 conclusions and recommendations in its report, the crucial item is number 20.

The construction industry “… requires the security of a long-term flow of work”.

On that depends so much. For example, recruitment, retention, training, partnering, collaboration, frameworks, supply chains, research and development, and sustainability.

Whether a chief construction officer could bring about a long-term flow of work and what influence they might have are moot points. After Chris Addison’s lampoon (29 August, page 26) I wonder if anyone would accept the role.

It should also be remembered it was the second permanent secretary of the Treasury and the chief executive of the nascent Office of Government Commerce (OGC) who, in May 2000, altered government construction procurement procedures. Traditional ones were forbidden and three novel ones had to be adopted. For all but the larger departments only one was suitable. These also altered the relationships between consultants and contractors. In 2005, the OGC cancelled the use of the long-standing government construction contract. If the long-term flow of government work is to be secured, the Treasury must be persuaded.