On Building.co.uk this week we have had running coverage of the OFT investigation, one of the biggest stories of the year, and we’ve devised new ways to keep you informed. Alex Smith reports
The results of the Office of Fair Trading’s bid-rigging investigation is just about the biggest construction story to break in recent years and we have given it due coverage online.
There are lots of exclusive web articles at www.building.co.uk/oftinvestigation, including an in-depth article on why the industry has fallen foul of the competition watchdog by Stephen Gruneberg, senior lecturer at the University of Westminster. Gruneberg explains why tight margins and the structure of the industry makes cover pricing tempting for construction companies trying to scrape a profit.
Our legal supremo Tony Bingham gives us his take. He backs the builders and says there are two things he has learned about cover pricing: first, it is ever such a rare event and second, he has never ever seen or heard a whisper of money ever passing hands when getting a cover price.
Bingham says there are no conspiratorial builders divvying up jobs. He says: “Baloney. If I’m wrong show me. Tell me which prison these folk go to and I will eat my safety helmet in front of the bars.”
You can also follow our crack team of journalists twittering on our OFT page. This is mini-blogging from a mobile phone, so it enables journalists to bring you up to speed as the news breaks.
According to some, Twitter will change the face of the web for ever. They also said that about Second Life, Facebook and Bebo, but you never know – the online world could be full of twits like me by the time you read this.
Forums are a tried and tested method of communication and Building’s new one is carrying a thread on the investigation.
Go to www.building.co.uk/forums to see what people have being saying. It also includes a good link to a legal article, which could be useful for some of the 112 firms involved …