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Not so Wise on Egan


Chris Wise has lost the plot (NCE last week). Our industry is driven by our clients and the Egan report reflects their strongly held views that construction procurement has to be more predictable and better value. Although the press and professions have picked up on the lean thinking and standardisation issues, the underlying theme of understanding the customers' needs better is evident on 22 of the report's 39 pages.

The Egan report is more about meeting our clients' needs than stifling architects' and engineers' creativity. Heaven knows, we need this creativity badly enough - not for its own sake, but applied to serving our clients better. Wise criticises Egan for being client driven, but without them what would we have to build?

The latest survey launched with National Construction Week shows that there is a long way to go. Chris would do the industry a service by applying his talent to improving clients' satisfaction with their professionals, rather than beefing on about his skewed criticisms of Egan.

John Pratt (M), Chairman and chief executive, Leading Edge Management Consultancy, john.pratt@lead-edge.demon.

Questions of war

Amid all the rhetoric and easy certainties of war, thank you for Mark Whitby's 'War and Peace' (NCE 19 April). The Balkan war is full of difficult and intractable problems and moral dilemmas and these are not made easier by the sheer destructive power of modern warfare. There are no easy answers to the questions Mark raises - which makes it all the more important that he has asked them.

A N Beal (M), 10 King George Avenue, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 4LH

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