The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has expressed their “complete dismay” that the implementation of the Construction Contracts Act faces further delay after the Government transferred responsibility for the legislation. The CIF has warned that the ongoing delays with the legislation are jeopardising the future of some Irish contractors and the jobs they provide.
The Construction Contracts Act provides certainty of payments to contractors in the construction industry. It removes the possibility of payments being withheld for extended period of time, an issue which the CIF warns is an ongoing problem in the industry.
“On a daily basis the CIF is contacted by contractors seeking assistance over non payment of fees,” said CIF Director General Tom Parlon. “This is becoming a growing problem in the industry and it is generating real hardship for some contractors. The Government has the power to put a stop to this by implementing the legislation, but there is no sign as to when this will actually happen.
“This legislation was originally introduced to the Oireachtas on 10th May 2010 by Senator Feargal Quinn. That was 1,625 days ago. After receiving cross party support the legislation was signed into law by President Higgins on 29th July 2013. Yet 449 days after that date the Government has basically done nothing to ensure this legislation takes effect.
“We are completely dismayed by the ongoing delays. We have received several assurances that this legislation would take effect by a certain date and yet none of those dates have been met. The most recent suggestion is that we will have to wait until spring next year. But in their latest statement the Government is already watering down that possibility saying “With a tightly managed timeline it is expected that the new service will be fully operational, and the Act commenced by Spring 2015.” That looks like the Government is already preparing to miss yet another expected commencement date.
“Bear in mind that the Government themselves had committed in their Construction 2020 strategy for the construction industry to complete the implementation of the Construction Contracts Act by Q2 2014. It now looks like they will be at least a year behind their own target.
“The fact that the various Departments keep dragging their heels on this issue is really hitting the industry and costing jobs. The Government now needs to publically state a date for when this legislation will commence and stick to it. Otherwise the continued uncertainty is going to create more problems in the industry and will ultimately lead to more contractors going out of business,” Mr. Parlon concluded.