As a building surveyor, it is not very often that I find myself nodding in agreement with a clerk of works – but I nearly sent John Smith flowers after reading "Cut to the bone" (12 September, page 29). It hit the proverbial nail on the head.
Despite all that has happened since Egan burst onto the scene, clients are failing contractors, and the lowest bid mentality is alive and well across government procurement.

Despite spending hours constructing packs and presentations that demonstrate our knowledge and commitment to Egan principles, clients, in accordance with the tender documents, will invariably pick the lowest bid, even if you can demonstrate that such a price has absolutely no chance of meeting the specification. Clients just wring their hands and quote their fear of budget constraints. It would seem that dressing up the procurement process in the emperor's new clothes is the order of the day, so that some committee or audit team can be appeased.

If people are wary of joining the industry, this must be one of the many reasons. Who would want to see their hard work ignored and spend their days battling with all and sundry when they could get a proper job with real satisfaction?

That said, after the first 20 years it gets easier and the one or two committed clients out there are worth the effort.