Egan's follow up to Rethinking Construction chides industry for slow progress and points way to future.
Construction firms aren't doing enough to implement the findings of the Egan report, according to Sir John Egan. Though impressed by the general response to Rethinking Construction, his 1998 report, he has written of his frustration at the slow rate of its take-up across the industry.

These thoughts appear in the draft of the Strategic Forum's follow-up report Accelerating Change. In a clarion call to the industry, he calls for all construction sectors to come together to create a complete supply chain that focuses on the needs of the customer.

In the report, written by consultant Dwight Demorais, the Strategic Forum sees the role of the client as being crucial to driving through change. It proposes the development of independent client advisers (ICAs), which will be on hand to offer procurement and management advice to clients. They are particularly keen for ICAs to target clients involved in one-off projects who have little experience in best value procurement.

These ICAs would come from a range of business backgrounds and would have their own code of practice. They would develop skills and competencies in accordance with the Construction Industry Training Board and the Construction Industry Council. The forum proposes that a large publicity campaign be undertaken to encourage clients to seek their advice.

Public sector clients are singled out as being the slowest to adopt Egan's radical agenda. The report says that innate short-termism prevents the public sector from procuring on the basis of best value. To improve the situation, the forum wants the government to consider making public sector funding for construction projects conditional upon the application of Rethinking Construction principles.

The report calls for more guidance to be given to local authorities and the housing community in particular. It cites the Office of Government Commerce's "gateway" process as an effective way of leading government clients through the procurement process and suggests the DTLR develop a similar process.

The strategic forum also sees an opportunity to improve health and safety on site by making clients more aware of the cost implications of not giving it enough consideration. The report urges the House and Safety Executive to include in their Approved Code of Practice a system of "gateways" to check that firms are abiding by health and safety regulations. The report also states that only registered companies should work on projects governed by Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

To encourage further integration of the supply chain, the report recommends project-based insurance for the whole team, rather than just individuals. The policies should embrace professional indemnity insurance, works contract insurance and aspects of product liability insurance. The report calls on the construction industry to put forward projects suitable for pilots.

Finally, the report recommends the introduction of a supply chain toolkit, to help clients to understand the benefits and added value of integrated working.