Tony Bingham seems to have his finger on the pulse when it comes to explaining cover pricing, which was always a benign process (30 October, page 32)
Cover pricing existed for at least three generations for the simple reason that nobody, but nobody, likes to be told, “We are awfully sorry, but we are too busy to consider your work”. Some years ago I was travelling back on the train from London with a retired QS and we talked briefly about his experience of cover pricing. He told me an anecdote from his early years when a young architect asked his practice to price up some work. They told him that at that time they were submerged with work and simply did not have the spare resources. They even went on to recommend another QS firm who they knew would be able to help. Needless to say they never heard from that architect again.
The OFT carries out a commendable policing role but they will never understand the commercial pressures of the business environment.
Edward Thackray, Edward Thackray Building