SEC Group’s Rudi Klein and Constructing Excellence’s Vaughan Burnand register interest in post

Two leading industry figures have thrown their hats into the ring for the job of chief construction adviser.

Vaughan Burnand, chairman of Constructing Excellence, and Rudi Klein, chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group, have registered their interest in the £120,000-a-year, three-day-a-week job. The government has said it wants the adviser in place by the end of November.

Klein said: “I’d be very happy to do it and will register my interest because one or two people have been pushing my name forward, especially in the specialist sector.”

Burnand, who is understood to have the backing of senior figures in the UK Contractors Group as well as Constructing Excellence, declined to comment, but one source close to the situation confirmed he had lodged his interest with the business and innovation department (BIS) this week.

One or two people have been pushing my name forward, especially in the specialist sector

Rrudi Klein

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Keith Clarke, chief executive of Atkins, will be the industry’s representative on the selection panel alongside civil servants from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and BIS.

Other names linked to the job include BRE chief executive Peter Bonfield and former OGC head Sir Peter Gershon. Neither was available for comment.

A source close to the selection process said a debate was taking place over how much of a construction background the post required. Some have suggested the fact that Klein is a lawyer would count against him – a claim he disputes.

The source added that the post would not necessarily go to an established industry figure. He said: “It could well be that the job goes to a high-flyer at the start of their career who is looking to build their CV.”