Project construction manager Bovis Lend Lease was finally released from its gagging order this week and allowed to respond to its critics.
These are its written responses to Building's questions:

Because you're on a construction management fee, you don't have any great interest in controlling time or cost, do you?
That's simply not true. As part of the project team we have exactly the same goals as the client. They want this building completed at the earliest possible date at the best possible value to the public purse and so do we. We report to the client fortnightly on the programme including on design issues. Davis Langdon & Everest is cost consultant but we have a commercial team on site that provides cost feedback and advice daily.

Do you accept responsibility for the late delivery and cost overruns that have plagued the scheme?
The building has moved on considerably from the original brief. Recent articles have highlighted the change from 11,000 m2 to 33,000 m2, without adjustment of the site footprint. After parliament took over ownership of the project in 1999, two significant design changes were made – in the chamber shape and in space to accommodate the increasing numbers of parliament staff, as requirements became clearer.

As construction manager, Bovis Lend Lease, along with the architects and project team consultants, has had to cope with the sheer complexity of the design and construction of Enric Miralles' vision.

There are few standard components and the project has proved enormously challenging to build, even with a team of internationally renowned firms. Bovis Lend Lease has played an important role in managing these changes in the most cost-effective way possible, in conjunction with the other members of the project team.

Bovis Lend Lease has had to cope with the sheer complexity of the construction of Enric Miralles’ vision

The project has also, as you would expect, been signed off by the client at every stage.

Isn't the fact that you agreed to your fee being capped an admission of guilt?
There have been no complaints whatsoever from the client about the performance of Bovis Lend Lease on this contract. We can confirm we are talking to the client about converting our fee and staff costs to a fixed sum. We understand the client's desire to cap fees and will work with them to reach agreement on this at the earliest possible date.

When will the project finish?
We give the client a fortnightly forecast on time. There are a number of issues still to be decided, which may impact on the completion date, and the client is aware of these. We share the aspirations of the client to deliver a building of outstanding quality as early as possible.