MPS have launched a wide-ranging inquiry into the construction industry that will include an examination of its capacity to deliver large infrastructure projects.

The trade and industry select committee, which is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the DTI, will focus on topics including the long-term capacity for the delivering of large projects such as the London Olympics.

The investigation, which will last one month, is expected to be the widest ranging inquiry it has conducted.

Other areas that it will be looking into are:

  • Employment and payment practices
  • The delivery of the government’s capital investment programme
  • The UK’s dependence on migrant labour
  • Maintenance of standards within the sector
  • Research and development
  • The availability of, and investment in, skills
  • Regulatory issues, including health and safety and the Building Regulations
  • The promotion of sustainability
  • Best practice on contract management
  • The UK’s performance compared with that of other countries.
News of the investigation was welcomed by the construction industry, which will be asked by the committee to provide written evidence before 4 May. A report on the findings is expected after further oral evidence.

A spokesperson for the Construction Confederation said: “It’s a significant event and we would expect to play as full a role as possible. It should stimulate a useful debate and will attract a wide audience. People outside the industry will be watching.”

Nick O’Hara, the external affairs executive at the Construction Products Association, said: “It is exactly the kind of inquiry they should be holding. The DTI wants to hear first hand from the industry – it will be an intelligence-gathering inquiry.”

A spokesperson from the DTI said: “It is for the committee to decide how it wants to take its investigation forward. We look forward to working with them.”