REUTERS | Fayaz Kabli

March 2010 digest: the Budget and the Scheme for Construction contracts

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the USA (attributed):

“Nothing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.”

March saw the Government deliver its (final?) Budget. As there was little in the Budget for the construction industry, the reaction to it was muted.

March was also a busy month elsewhere in the construction and engineering world: the draft revised Scheme has finally landed! In other words, the consultation on the proposed amendments to the Scheme for Construction Contracts 1998 was published this month. If they become law, the amendments will affect both adjudication and payment under construction contracts. The amendments follow the changes introduced by Part 8 of the LDEDC Act 2009. They have been eagerly awaited and, if you want to respond, you have until 18 June 2010 to do so.

In adjudication, the TCC granted an injunction preventing the claimants from pursuing three adjudications against the defendant. In other adjudication enforcement cases, the courts held that:

A number of other issues were also under the courts’ spotlight, including:

The OGC has published guidance on a number of public procurement issues, including time limits for challenge, joint venture arrangements between the public/private sectors; exclusion of economic operators; and publishing contract awards. Time limits were also before the courts in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Anti-blacklisting laws came into force; the Bribery Bill continued its passage through Parliament; and we published a note on the tower crane register, which comes into force on 6 April 2010.

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