The CIC Corruption in Construction Seminar, held at the Institution of Civil Engineers on 18 March 2014, was very well attended by a broad cross-section of industry professionals. CIC Deputy Chairman, Tony Burton, introduced a panel of five guest speakers who included; Eddie Tuttle from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Ken Gallagher from the newly formed National Crime Agency (NCA), Jane de Lozey from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Ronan Champion from the Society of Construction Lawyers (SCL) and Jim Gee, a fraud specialist at accountants BDO. The aim of the seminar was to explore the nature of corruption in our industry and how we go about protecting our businesses against it.
The relevance of corruption to the construction industry was illustrated by a recent European Commission report that singled out “Urban Development and Construction”, along with “Healthcare” as specifically vulnerable sectors across the EU. CIOB surveys, carried out in 2006 and 2013, show that approximately half of its members believe that corruption is common within the UK construction industry. However, the insidious nature of corruption makes the job of defining it quite difficult. The complexity, both of the industry itself and the work carried out, the procurement processes and the intricate web of relationships in all phases of development, from planning right through to construction itself, can create opportunities for collusion, fraud and sharp practice.
With indicators pointing at the construction industry, which accounts for 8% of GDP, as a soft target for organised crime, the NCA and the SFO are keen to work with the industry to explore how we might best protect our businesses from the toxic effects of corruption.
Eddie Tuttle (CIOB) The Current Picture - CIOB Survey
Ronan Champion (SCL) Professional Ethics in Construction