The Builders’ Conference, the trade association that provides tender price information to contractors, has written to its members to assure them that its procedures comply with competition law.
Neil Edwards, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “We took legal advice on the group’s systems and procedures for gathering and reporting tender information in light of the Office of Fair Trading’s investigation and were given the all-clear. We wanted to make sure our compliance programme was up to date.”
In a letter to the association’s members in February, before the OFT announced the the names of the 112 firms under investigation, Edwards said he wanted to “reassure members and associated businesses about competition law aspects of our tender reporting procedure”.
He said: “A number of recent high-profile OFT investigations into the construction sector have prompted the Builders’ Conference to prepare this statement. While those recent cases have nothing to do with our business or us, they nevertheless serve as a timely reminder of the importance of compliance with competition legislation.”
The Builders’ Conference’s council includes representatives of a number of contractors, including Durkan Pudelek and Mansell – both of which were named in the OFT inquiry.
It was established in 1935 as a non-profit making trade association to provide tender and market information to the construction industry. It serves contractors and consultants.
• The Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Select Committee inquiry into the construction industry will not look into the OFT’s allegations of bid rigging, it has emerged.
Peter Luff, the chair of the committee, said: “It will certainly not be a major feature of the report, though we may well mention that it has happened.”