The Office of Fair Trading has hailed significant improvements in contractors’ awareness of illegal business practices since it delivered the results of its investigation into bid-rigging in the construction industry in England last September.
A new report published by the body has uncovered increasing awareness and understanding of competition law and business behaviour in a number of areas including:
- Nearly 75 per cent of contractors are aware of the OFT’s decision on bid rigging in the construction industry. In 2008, fewer than a third were aware of earlier infringement decisions in the construction sector
- Nine in 10 construction firms now recognise that bid rigging, including cover pricing, is a serious breach of competition law with associated penalties
- Three-quarters of contractors are aware of fines as a penalty for cover-pricing, compared to less than half in 2008
- Approximately two in three procurers have introduced a new mechanism in the last two years to detect or prevent anti-competitive practices
A UK Contractors Group spokesman said: “We are pleased that the OFT has acknowledged the high levels of awareness of competition law in the construction sector and the positive actions taken by contractors to avoid anti-competitive behaviour. The survey’s findings are very much in line with private polling undertaken by the Construction Confederation and submitted to the OFT in advance of last September’s decision.
“UKCG members take their obligations to comply with competition law very seriously. That is why UKCG and its members support the industry wide Code of Competition Law Compliance launched on 20 August last year.”