CIPER, the construction industry’s new government forum, is to focus on ways of tackling problematic European regulations
Industry umbrella trade bodies met last Thursday in a preliminary session to decide on the issues that CIPER should address. Rudi Klein, chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, said it had been decided that CIPER offered a good forum for looking at European regulations.

He said: “Government representation does not fully understand industry concerns of integrated working practices at European level. And CIPER would be a good forum to deal with this.”

Klein said the preliminary session had also decided that CIPER meetings should involve key government civil servants from different government departments who could act as a point of contact.

He added: “The feeling is that if the government has new initiatives that spread across a number of government departments, there should be a sole point of contact as a way of having joined-up thinking.”

Klein said that CIPER should also produce research to aid government policy, and it would help the industry conduct itself in a more professional way.

Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, confirmed that the meeting had been positive. He said there had been agreement that the industry could provide the government with guidance on its policy proposals.

He added: “There needs to be trust and understanding within the body that news of early policy ideas will not be leaked before it is discussed and properly taken forward.”

Watts said it was likely that before CIPER’s first official meeting with the DTI, a log would be drafted outlining issues that would have an impact on the industry.

He also said it was likely the new body would be meeting quarterly.