Survey shows that not enough progress has been made to meet targets set by Sir John Egan 10 years ago

The construction industry falls far short of the ideal visualised in the Egan report, according to results of a new survey into progress in the sector.

The research, carried out by BIW Technologies, said “significant progress” had been made but not enough to satisfy Egan’s targets.

Sir John Egan

The results come 10 years after Sir John Egan’s government-commissioned review of the industry, Rethinking Construction. They support research from Constructing Excellence, which showed all seven of the 1998 targets had been missed.

Those surveyed thought costs and defects were the area with least signs of progress while ‘process improvement’ had shown the greatest advances.

Government bodies were criticised for “talking too much about issues” rather than taking decisive action, while clients were identified as leaders in driving change.

The survey questioned 200 industry managers and analysts plus government representatives.

More than half said significant progress had been made in realising Egan’s recommendations. However, a quarter said there had not been enough improvement and just 35 per cent thought the industry had done enough to satisfy calls for modernisation.

The UK construction industry was ranked behind the US and Japan but ahead of Spain and Italy against Egan’s benchmark areas.

The Egan report itself did not escape criticism. More than 60% of those surveyed said it had heightened perception that projects could be built more cheaply than was actually possible.