National Federation of Builders angered by OFT punishing small number of companies for widespread practice of cover pricing

The National Federation of Builders has slammed the OFT for fining a “random sample of companies” who could now face “financial hardship”.

The comments by chief executive Julia Evans came as she urged industry clients not to “inflict further punishment” on the construction companies fined today by denying them future work.

“It is acknowledged that at one time cover pricing was a common practice in the construction industry,” she said. “It does therefore seem unfair that a small, random sample of companies has been selected by the OFT to be punished as an example to the wider industry.

“As the construction economy continues to deteriorate, these fines will hit the businesses involved particularly hard. They should not now face additional financial hardship by losing access to public sector work.”

Evans added: “The withdrawal of so many companies from the tendering pool could actually make some local markets less competitive, a move which would disadvantage clients as well as contractors.”