The CICV Forum has written to Holyrood urging the Government to adopt a five-point plan to assist contractors through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis.

The collection of 23 trade and professional bodies (including FIS) has addressed its appeal to Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning.  The letter asks the Scottish Government to implement the following five key points, along with desired aims:

  • Agreement by public sector procurers on all project costs at March 31, including resolution of disputes, and payment within 14 days.
    Aim: Release cash to the industry and the supply chain.
  • Public sector procurers to consider release of all or part of retentions.
    Aim: As above.
  • Introduction of 14-day payment period when construction recommences.
    Aim: Improvement of cashflow.
  • Introduction of Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) when construction recommences.
    Aim: Ensuring rapid cashflow.
  • Lowering PBA threshold on public sector procurement to £250,000
    Aim: Ensuring rapid cashflow.

The urgency of the appeal was highlighted by the fate of the latest victim of the building industry shutdown – Central Building Contractors (Glasgow), which went into administration at the end of April, making 148 staff redundant and sending shivers down the supply chain.

Len Bunton, head of the CICV Forum Clients sub-group, said: “Even before the sudden shutdown of the construction industry in Scotland, the sector was experiencing extreme difficulties in relation to cashflow and payment. Urgent attention to payment cash flow and fairness is now needed by the public and private sector in Scotland.”

Iain McIlwee, CEO of Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) added, “Our industry faces an unprecedented challenge in Scotland and we need to to all we can to ensure that we protect it during this hibernation phase so that it is ready to scale back up and support growth again in Scotland.  Critical to this is protecting cash reserves and Government must lead by example.”

The CICV Forum, which was set up two months ago, now has 23 trade and professional body members. It has established a series of influential sub-groups dealing with mission-critical aspects such as Health and Safety, Skills, Communication and Future Planning.

Find out more about the CICV Forum here