Colin Reed seems surprised by the decision of his clients to do without designer supervision on site. What other outcome could he expect when giving a simplistic answer to a complex question?
What he should have told his client is that reducing the level of supervision on site leads to dramatically increased costs as a result of delayed or even broken lines of communication. What is more, there is a likely increase in health and safety risks which should put the client in direct line for prosecution if he has declined to pay for supervision.
I would go further and say that if the ICE conditions of contract do not demand the presence of a designer's representative on site, then the Institution itself is culpable in this sorry state of affairs. If the requirement is struck out by the men with sharp pencils then they should have no doubt that the finger of blame will be pointed at them.
It is not professional to duck these issues and to give weak direction to strong clients. If we behave in a nonprofessional way we cannot expect to be treated or paid as professionals.
Bill Harvey, 85 Pennsylvania Road, Exeter, EX4 6DW