Trade body calls for construction regulator to end late payment misery

Darrell Matthews

THE Scottish Government has been urged to appoint a construction regulator to help protect SMEs on the issue of late payments.

The call has been made by SELECT, the campaigning body for the electrotechnical trade in Scotland. The organisation wants to see Chief Construction Advisor (CCA) appointed, with responsibility for regulating aspects of the sector.

Darrell Matthews, managing director of SELECT explained, “The collapse of Carillion sent shockwaves through the UK construction sector. Whilst Scotland was perhaps in a better position than the rest of the UK, we believe that the Scottish Government should treat this as a wake-up call and put protections in place.

“Our members believe that the appointment of a CCA, acting as a ‘construction tsar’, to enforce already existing legal protections by ensuring repeated late payers are identified, monitored and if necessary, punished, would be a clear signal of intent by the Scottish Government.

“There needs to be full recognition that the construction sector is a key driver of Scottish growth and that given the sheer volume of public sector construction contracts, the Scottish Government needs to be certain that public money is going to responsible, well-managed SMEs.”

Alan Wilson, SELECT’s head of membership and communication, recently addressed Holyrood’s Cross Party Group for Construction on measures including the payment, packaging of contracts and retentions.