The recent chatroom piece (24 January, page 48) gave a useful, if brief, commentary on some adjudication issues.
However, I wonder if some of the real issues need to be addressed, and particularly by adjudicators. Statistics vary, but I understand that there have been between 6000 and 8000 adjudication appointments since 1998. Looking at my own activities over the past four years, and talking to other adjudicators, most of these seem to boil down to fundamental quantity surveying and commercial issues.

How is it that partners and managers in QS firms cannot get their QSs to resolve basic matters of quantum? It seems to me that recourse to adjudication is a cop-out by industry professionals and represents a failure of the procurement process.

Has the industry reached such a low point that it takes an adjudicator, at £140 an hour, to get issues of measurement and quantum agreed? I recently adjudicated in a case where both sides were so far apart on ceiling lining measurements that I asked the following questions: Are you both talking about the same project? Are you using the right scale rule? Can you both count?

They went off, heads bowed, and after three attempts got within 15% of each other and settled the issue.

People seem to think the adjudication process has improved the industry. I cannot think how that conclusion is drawn. All those thousands of adjudications means the same number of construction disputes – 6000 to 8000 occasions when a consensus could not be reached.