The Government has approved the transfer of responsibility for implementation of the Construction Contracts Act 2013 to Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash, TD, from Monday 20 October 2014.
Commencement of the Act is identified as a key measure under the Action Plan for Jobs to help build the capacity of the construction industry. It requires the setting up a Panel of Adjudicators to ensure resolution of commercial disputes about payments between parties in the construction industry.
Work is well advanced by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on the key tasks which have to be delivered before the legislation can be brought into force. Critical to the effective implementation of the legislation will be the appointment of members to the panel of adjudicators, following a transparent recruitment process designed by the Public Appointments Service. The Code of Practice for adjudications under the Act, which has been the subject of consultation with key industry stakeholders, will be published, along with the establishment of a consultation group with industry.
The decision to transfer responsibility for this important legislation was taken as the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is itself a major player in the construction industry, in light of its responsibility for the State’s construction procurement policy and the publication of public works contracts. As it is considered important that any panel is seen to operate at arm’s length from any major player in the construction industry, the Government decided to transfer the functions under the Act from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
With a tightly managed timeline it is expected that the new service will be fully operational, and the Act commenced by Spring 2015.