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White: firms failing to innovate

Constructing Excellence chief executive Bob White last week slammed the industry for failing to embrace the innovation and procurement reforms as proscribed by the 1998 Egan Report into industry performance.

Ten years after publication of the celebrated Rethinking Construction report by former boss of airport operator BAA and Rover Sir John Egan, White said that there were still many in the industry for whom the report had "passed by".

"The attitude of many contractors is more adversarial than ever," he said. "We are not in the place that we’d perhaps like to be."

White was speaking at the Chartered Institute of Building’s annual dinner at London’s Guildhall last week.

The former chairman of construction manager Mace challenged industry to use the 10th anniversary of the Egan Report to improve its performance.

The Rethinking Construction report was commissioned by then deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and advocated a wholescale change in attitude within the industry. It recommended that best practice be shared among firms to help the industry act collectively to improve and strengthen performance.

"The industry is still weak because of its fragmented nature. We have failed to embed innovation," added White, highlighting the need for professionals to embrace and embed new ways of working and thinking across the construction process.

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