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Government backs construction 'champion'

The government propses to appoint a 'Chief Construction Officer', a civil servant who would act as a 'champion' for the construction industry.

The Chief Construction Officer would liaise between industry and the Government, and try to tie fragmented government policy together.

A process of consultation will now begin.

Duties would be likely to include:

- Working with OGC and other organisations to promote best practice
in construction procurement

- Acting as the main point of engagement between Government and
industry

- Helping to oversee the implementation of Government policy, such as the Strategy for Sustainable Construction

- Championing the industry's image

- Promoting regulatory consistency across departments

- Helping to co-ordinate the timing of major public sector construction programmes or projects

- Promoting innovation in the industry

Business Secretary John Hutton said: ""Construction is a key sector of the UK economy, generating nearly 9% of GDP and employing more than 2.8 million people.

"But the construction industry is very broad and almost uniquely impacted by a wide range of government departments both through policy and, as a client, through procurement.

"We have known for some time that the industry has felt it needs more dedicated Whitehall support and for government departments to be more joined-up and holistic in their approach to procurement and policy development.

"That is why we have embraced the BERR Committee's recommendation regarding the creation of a new role to 'champion' the sector and to ensure that Government remains consistent and focussed in its relationship with this vital sector."

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