Former Railtrack boss tipped for Rethinking Construction sequel, despite concern among forum members.
Former Railtrack director and BAA guru Simon Murray is being lined up by his old boss Sir John Egan to update Rethinking Construction.

Murray is favourite for the job because of his role in the original report, published in 1999.

The strategic forum, a body created to advise the DTI on how to improve the construction industry, will commission the report, which is expected to be published next summer.

The paper, touted as a sequel to Rethinking Construction, will focus on three topics: health and safety, integrated supply teams and the role of the client in projects.

If the plan goes ahead, it would result in a quick return for Murray to the industry – he left Railtrack as director of major projects in July. He would be expected to take on a role at the forum while he did the work. Murray has previously worked with Egan during his time at BAA.

But the idea has sparked concern among forum members, who think someone in the construction sector would be better equipped to do the job.

A forum member said there was no need for an ideas man to write a sequel to Egan, as the committee had completed that task.

I cannot see a position for Simon Murray in the forum at this time or in the future

Graham Watts, CIC chief executive

He said: "The forum simply needs an administrator to collate existing work rather than somebody else, not working in the industry, to contribute extra ideas."

Another member voiced concern that Murray would try to introduce ideas that had not been discussed in the forum.

He added that Egan had led the forum to believe that the report would simply summarise the results of their working groups.

Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said the CIC had offered to second a senior representative to help the forum and he noted that there was no shortage of people within the sector that could help the strategic forum implement policy.

Watts said: "I cannot see a position for Simon Murray within the forum at this current time or in the future."