Deering welcomes moves

25th September, 2011

Mr Brian
Hayes TD, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
today published the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) of the Construction
Contracts Bill. On welcoming the publication Minister Hayes stated “This
Government is committed to bring forward legislation to protect small building
subcontractors that have been denied payments from bigger companies. The
completion of the RIA is a very important step in developing a robust piece of
legislation to deal with the issue of delayed or non payment in the construction
sector”. The Minister thanked Senator Feargal Quinn for his assistance during
the consultation process “as it provided valuable input into the
RIA.”

The Regulatory Impact Analysis examined issues relating
to payment practices in the construction sector and assessed the need for
legislative intervention. It found that legislation is needed to improve payment
practices and
to allow
swift resolution of payment disputes by way of adjudication, allowing projects
to be completed without wasting time and money in litigation.

In
addition, the RIA examined the main proposals to amend the legislation that were
raised during the Seanad debate and subsequent consultation on the Bill. It
found that there were merits to considering amending the Bill in order to
include lower value contracts and in the event that there is a payment dispute
to make the adjudicators award binding. It also found that these amendments
should be formulated in such a manner that would protect the
taxpayer.

Minister Hayes added “ we will reflect on the findings of
the RIA and incorporate them in the proposed legislation accordingly.  It is
essential that the solution needs to be balanced so as to avoid imposing
regulatory or cost burdens on parties in dispute, the State or others. This
legislation is a priority issue for the Government and it is our intention that
the new law be enacted as quickly as possible.”

Carlow Fine Gael TD Pat Deering has welcomed this
initiative saying “this is good news for subcontractors, in my clinics I
regularly meet people who are owed sometimes vast sums of money by Main
Contractors who often have no significant reason for not paying their subbies,
in general subcontractors are smaller outfits and its welcome news that they
will have some form of adjudication that wont be cost prohibitive. Most Main
Contractors are genuine people trying to make ends meet in these turbulent
times, but some are not and are just refusing to pay for work done and these
companies can’t continue to get away with this”.