The Construction Industry Federation, (CIF), has called on the Irish Government to support the National Development Plan, (NDP), with stability and continuity. Paul Sheridan, Director, Main Contracting and Civil Engineering, CIF, welcomes the Government’s decision to invest €10.1bn in the National Development Plan in 2021. Nonetheless, under the review of the NDP, the CIF will be lodging a report to the Government, drawing attention to what it believes is now priority: having the right processes, systems, capabilities and resources in place so that the Government can ensure continuity of work. Achieving these goals will strengthen investment, employment, productivity and innovation in the construction industry. The report will address the following issues.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Green Public Procurement Criteria’ will oblige public procurement to continue to move towards “greener” policies. Eventually, the metrics established will become key criteria for contractors, especially during tender processes.
Construction Works Management Framework
Through its reform of the Construction Works Management Framework, the government will address issues such as price inflation, quality in tenders, risk management, collaboration and professional engagement. The focus will be to increase economical value, productivity and innovation. The Office of Government Procurement, in particular, will play a leading role.
Innovation and Productivity
It has been widely recognised that the construction industry lags behind other industries in terms of innovation and productivity. To reverse this situation, the onus cannot fall only on the contractor. Rather, a contractual framework and systems which facilitate common goals and objectives amongst all players must be created. An environment wherein ideas are shared, worked on and driven as a Team is essential. Unfortunately, the actual system falls down in this regard. So as to create a stable environment which will encourage investment, contractors need to have a medium to long term view of upcoming work.
Irish Water has a central role to play in the delivery of the NDP. The issues related to water infrastructure need to be addressed.
Again, the value that new technologies can add to the construction industry has been widely recognised. Clients need to be aware of the ever-changing consultant business model, in particular the scope of service that they are offering.
There is a tendency for consultant teams to pass on detailed design work and risk to the contractors. To avoid this, contractors need to become fully aware of their insurance obligations related to Professional Indemnity, in particular notice requirements in their existing contracts and new tenders; anything which has the potential to led to non-compliance.
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