REUTERS | Juan Carlos Ulate

LDEDC Bill 2008 completes committee stage as Government rejects proposed amendments

The Government has rejected proposed amendments to the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill 2008 (LDEDC Bill 2008) as it completed its committee stage in the House of Lords (see our Legal update). The LDEDC Bill 2008 begins the report stage on 17 March 2009.

On 3 March 2009, the final day of the committee stage, the Government made clear that it would not support any of the proposed amendments to the construction provisions of the LDEDC Bill 2008. In response, all of the proposed amendments were withdrawn or not formally proposed.

The most controversial amendments had been those supported by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC), on which we have commented in our previous blog post. While Lord Brett, on behalf of the Government, recognised that the SEC represents a significant number of small and medium size businesses, he pointed out that the LDEDC Bill 2008 had been the subject of widespread consultation, but the SEC stood alone in suggesting its changes.

While the Government rejected the proposed amendments, there will be further opportunities to amend the LDEDC Bill 2008 as it continues through Parliament. Lord Tope suggested that changes may be proposed at the report stage later this month.

Even if the LDEDC Bill 2008 becomes law without any amendment, the Scheme for Construction Contracts 1998 (Scheme) will be reviewed in the near future. Any changes to the Scheme could, potentially, have as big an impact as changes to the Construction Act 1996.

8 thoughts on “LDEDC Bill 2008 completes committee stage as Government rejects proposed amendments

  1. A line by line examination of the LDEDC Bill took place during the first day of the report stage on 17 March 2009. The amendments discussed covered clauses 1-23 of the Bill. The report stage continues on 23 March 2009.

  2. A line by line examination of the LDEDC Bill took place during the first day of the report stage on 17 March 2009. The amendments discussed covered clauses 1-23 of the Bill. The report stage continues on 23 March 2009.

  3. Concern continues to grow over the proposed amendments to the Construction Act 1996 (which are set out in the LDEDC Bill 2008) particularly in relation to the plans to outlaw pay-when-certified clauses.

    Critics of the proposal have suggested this will derail PFI schemes, which is probably the last thing the Government needs, coming at a time when it has announced its plans to pump even more money into the PFI sector to make up for shortfalls in funding from the private sector. It is more likely that this is simply an unintended consequence of what was a genuine concern for sub-contractors and an intention to ensure cash flows down the contract chain to them.

    Only time will tell whether the Government will change its mind about these (and any other) amendments to the Construction Act 1996. Given the Act has been under review since March 2004 and it has been consulting with industry representatives since 2005, it is possible.

  4. Concern continues to grow over the proposed amendments to the Construction Act 1996 (which are set out in the LDEDC Bill 2008) particularly in relation to the plans to outlaw pay-when-certified clauses.

    Critics of the proposal have suggested this will derail PFI schemes, which is probably the last thing the Government needs, coming at a time when it has announced its plans to pump even more money into the PFI sector to make up for shortfalls in funding from the private sector. It is more likely that this is simply an unintended consequence of what was a genuine concern for sub-contractors and an intention to ensure cash flows down the contract chain to them.

    Only time will tell whether the Government will change its mind about these (and any other) amendments to the Construction Act 1996. Given the Act has been under review since March 2004 and it has been consulting with industry representatives since 2005, it is possible.

  5. The latest examination of the LDEDC Bill took place during the second day of report stage on 23 March 2009. Amendments discussed covered clauses 23-68 of the Bill.

    The report stage continues on 1 April 2009.

  6. The latest examination of the LDEDC Bill took place during the second day of report stage on 23 March 2009. Amendments discussed covered clauses 23-68 of the Bill.

    The report stage continues on 1 April 2009.

  7. The third day of the report stage took place on 1 April 2009. Amendments to clauses 68-80 of the Bill were discussed. A fourth day of the report stage has been scheduled for 22 April 2009.

    The third reading of the Bill in the House of Lords is scheduled for 29 April 2009.

    Third reading is the final review of the contents of a Bill. Amendments can be made at third reading in the House of Lords, provided the issue has not already been voted on at an earlier stage. At the end of the debate, the House decides whether to approve the third reading of the Bill. If it is successful, the Bill will move to its first reading in the House of Commons.

    The House of Lords has already considered and rejected amendments proposed by Lords O’Neill, Borrie and Baroness Hamwee. Unless further amendments are proposed later this month, it is likely the construction aspects of the Bill will pass to the House of Commons unamended.

  8. The third day of the report stage took place on 1 April 2009. Amendments to clauses 68-80 of the Bill were discussed. A fourth day of the report stage has been scheduled for 22 April 2009.

    The third reading of the Bill in the House of Lords is scheduled for 29 April 2009.

    Third reading is the final review of the contents of a Bill. Amendments can be made at third reading in the House of Lords, provided the issue has not already been voted on at an earlier stage. At the end of the debate, the House decides whether to approve the third reading of the Bill. If it is successful, the Bill will move to its first reading in the House of Commons.

    The House of Lords has already considered and rejected amendments proposed by Lords O’Neill, Borrie and Baroness Hamwee. Unless further amendments are proposed later this month, it is likely the construction aspects of the Bill will pass to the House of Commons unamended.

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