The new year is now in full swing and I hope things will start to look up in 2009. We’ve had a tough time of it lately, going from boom to bust almost overnight.

The ECA is committed to helping its members get through this difficult time. Our Commercial Contracts & Legal (CC&L) department is at the end of the phone to offer practical advice on how to protect profit and survive the recession.

In the present climate, the many barriers to doing business seem to be magnified. The impact of multi pre-qualification schemes is having a huge effect on the industry. There are simply too many hoops to jump through. We will continue to ensure our voice is heard by the government on this issue at every opportunity.

Procurement is also a bugbear. Draconian rules make the whole thing one big lottery, and this has to change. Profit is another area for concern, and many contractors are feeling the squeeze.

On a positive note, the ECA, through the SEC Group, has made real progress to ensure fair payment and will continue to make sure money is paid in full, on time.

Allan Littler