Fate of construction quangos still in the balance

18 October 2010

The fate of several familiar quasi-governmental construction organisations still hangs in the balance, despite last week's government cull of 192 quangos.

CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and Partnerships for Schools (PfS) face an uncertain future.

Francis Maude announced that the decision on CITB-ConstructionSkills’ future would be delayed until November. However, as Building published in a blog post, this anouncement was followed by a fairly upbeat press release from CITB-ConstructionSkills, saying that the government saw a place for an industry-wide training levy. By extension, this would mean CITB-ConstructionSkills would stay in the public sector.

In the release, Mark Farrar, chief executive, CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “We welcome government’s announcement today that they recognise the value of levies as a way of harnessing employer investment in skills and training, and the view that CITB-ConstructionSkills’ industry led Board should have more flexibility and freedom to determine how best employer funds are invested – to help industry meets its challenges.

Reading between the lines, the release suggests that the body would retail statutory powers to raise a levy from construction companies, but its actual operations would be overhauled. The press release had evidently been endorsed by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, but BIS did not confirm this.

Meanwhile, Construction News reports that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will survive as a “smaller enabling and investment body working for local communities,” the remit of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to be reformed with its expenditure “scrutinized” in light of an ongoing government review.

Facing the chop are the Design Council, the Advisory Panel on Standards for the Planning Inspectorate, the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, the Commission for Integrated Transport, British Waterways, the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, National Tenant Voice, the Olympic Park Legacy Company and the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords. 


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