Select Committee on Treasury Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by the Major Contractors Group


  1.  The Major Contractors Group (MCG) welcomes the opportunity to participate in this inquiry into the work of OGC.

  2.  The MCG comprises twenty-three of the largest construction companies in the United Kingdom, carrying out in excess of £22 billion-worth of construction work each year or about 34 per cent of the total industry turnover of £65 billion. A full list of the members is attached for reference (Annex A). Companies participate in MCG at Chairman or Chief Executive level. MCG is also a leading member of the Construction Confederation, which is the main representative organisation for contractors in the construction industry—its 4,000 members are responsible for 75 per cent of the industry's work.

  3.  MCG believes that this enquiry is somewhat premature in the life of OGC as much of its work has yet to reach significant fulfilment hence this rather short submission.

  4.  MCG believes that OGC has key roles to play in ensuring effective procurement by central government departments and also in representing the UK's interests in the public procurement area in the EU. This latter is particularly important in ensuring that the good practice and maturity gained in UK PFI procurement is not invalidated through inappropriate EU regulations.

  5.  MCG believes that OGC has had a positive influence in ensuring that government procurement bodies understand the importance of time in the procurement process. In general, the public sector has had a poor understanding of the detrimental impact of delay in decision making on procurement cost. This will contribute significantly to the cost saving challenge when improved procedures are fully implemented.

  6.  MCG believes that a clearer statement of OGC's priorities would be helpful to the private sector understanding the focus of resources in different areas. It might also be worth revisiting the earlier remit of the Treasury Task Force to ensure that the division of responsibility between OGC and PUK has not left gaps not being currently addressed.

9 November 2001

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