Changes to payment process set to be made after next year's general election.

The planned reform of the Construction Act is expected to be delayed until after next year's general election.

A consultation paper that was due to be published by the Department of Trade and Industry on changes to the act will not come out until at least December - it was first expected at the end of this month. With a three month consultation period due for after this publication it will be unlikely that the proposals will make it through parliament before the expected general election in the Spring of 2005.

Construction minister Nigel Griffiths wrote to review chairman Sir Michael Latham last week saying that the consulation process on improvements to payment processes and adjudication was taking longer than expected. He said in the letter: "To cover those issues where, so far, there has been less clarity, the consultation paper will need to contain more discursive passages and invite more general comment."