The Society of Construction Law issues stringent ethical guidelines and urges trade bodies to adopt the code.

Individuals working in the construction industry will be pressured to comply with stringent ethical guidelines under an anti-corruption code issued yesterday.

A draft of the code, which covers the offences of bribery, deception and fraud, has been published by the Society of Construction Law in a bid to combat “widespread corruption” in the industry. The Society is hoping trade associations will adopt the guidelines as part of their codes of membership.

Neill Stansbury, joint author of the report and member of anti-corruption league Transparency International, said: “Many surveys show that construction is the most corrupt sector internationally. Routine actions on construction projects are breaching criminal law. We believe corruption can be stopped as long as all industry stakeholders take action.”

The code highlights areas of common practice in the industry which breach criminal law, with the aim of raising awareness of illegal practice. These include being “wilfully blind” to fraud committed by a joint venture partner, and a client inviting additional project bids specifically to lower the quote of a favoured bidder.