Arbicon ADR Ltd
RICS

How should the Construction Act be improved?

Jonathan Nugent

Director of Arbicon

05-07-2018

The Construction Act on the 1st May 2018 celebrated its 20th birthday; it provides Payment and Adjudication rights to Commercial Construction Contracts. The Government are considering further improvements to the Construction Act last updated in 2011, which you can read more about by clicking here 

The recent government consultation by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set out to measure the effectiveness of the 2011 changes to the Construction Act looking at:

 

·       Costs in Adjudication - should costs be recovered?

·       Contracts now required in writing has that worked?

·       Clarity and transparency of the payment framework - clarity or abuse?

·       Challenges of the validity of Payment Notices - what constitutes a Payment notice?

·       Illegal payment terms - what is outlawed?

·       The right to suspend performance - is it working?

·       Effectiveness of payment rights and adjudication?

 

The consultation does ask questions that are designed to "see how it is going" rather than improvements. It does not in my opinion quite ask the right questions, it appears to in part misunderstand that the legislation is designed to protect the legitimate interests of the weaker payee party to a construction contract and that party should be in a position to use the rights of statute to achieve a just outcome as intended and not suffer abuse, exploitation and potential bankruptcy after their hard work.

I will be looking at each aspect of the areas raised in the coming weeks and further areas such as consumer residential contract rights, which have not been given any consideration.

What improvements would you like to see?


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