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Long smarm of the law


As an ex-contractor let me say that Karen Gidwani's overtly dismissive view of partnering (NCE 31 May) is typical of a profession which lives and profits by confrontation.

Partnering, as expounded by Egan and others, can and does work and in most cases these working relationships are not enshrined in legalese.

Partnering, as a collective, participatory and ethically motivated doctrine, embraces a system of cultural principles which, by definition, do not lend themselves to overt codification. Ms Gidwani seems to have missed the point that Egan's contribution was largely to shift emphasis from the contractual to the cultural and in doing so sounded a chord that is starting to reverberate throughout the industry.

If we accept that litigation holds the key to construction's woes, or if we substitute one set of legal documents for another, then construction will never leave the combat zone.

The Construction Manufacturers Partnering Association (COMPASS) was formed to drive all forward thinking members of the construction value chain to form such strategic partnering relationships. All those who genuinely believe there is room for teamwork, trust and co-operation should get in touch as a first step in turning the great partnering dream into the great partnering reality.

Alan Kennedy, Construction Manufacturers Partnering Association teamCOMPASS@cs. com

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