CIF Overview: Our work on behalf of members 2016–2017

Since its foundation, the Construction Industry Federation has been a driving force behind the success of Ireland’s construction industry and proactive body in addressing the challenges it has faced over the years.

The CIF’s work ensures the industry has the capacity and capability to meet the challenges it faces and that Government is informed in making decisions to meet the infrastructure and residential needs of the country.

While helping its members to weather the crisis that hit the sector in recent years, the CIF was also looking to the future of the industry and the country. To this end it has been establishing programmes and promoting initiatives that will give members the capacity and capability to meet Ireland’s building needs in the years ahead in a sustainable and profitable manner. Below we outline some of the key works we have been carrying during 2016 and into 2017

During 2016 CIF was involved in a number of key initiatives that will facilitate members in successfully carrying out their work.

Circular 01/16 and Amendments to the Public Works Contracts

Circular 01/16 and the amendments to the Public Works Contracts, published on 18 January 2016, introduced a number of important changes to the Public Works Contract, which has now been implemented for all tenders submitted after 08 January 2017. Important changes include – making the Bill of Quantities the primary reference document for tendering purposes; the introduction of reserved specialists; the introduction of a new dispute management procedure; and the introduction of standing conciliators on projects valued over €10million.

Medium Term Strategy for the Public Works Forms of Contract

CIF’s Medium Term Strategy for the Public Works Forms of Contract was submitted to the Government Construction Contracts Committee and the Office of Government Procurement. The document focuses on the elements members believe are of importance to ensure continued improvement to the Contracts and the CIF looks forward to engaging with the GCCC on this.

Construction Contracts Act 2013

The long-awaited Construction Contracts Act 2013 (CCA) was signed into law on 13 April 2016 and came into force from Monday 25 July 2016. All construction contracts signed after this date are subject to the requirements of the Act, which requires set payment periods under all construction contracts, provides for suspension of works and for adjudication of payment disputes, and prohibits the use of pay when or if paid clauses. The implementation of CCA also provides specific project support for members to ensure their operations are CCA compliant.

Engagement with Government and Industry Bodies

The CIF engages regularly with Irish Water, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Department of Education, amongst others, on issues of concern to members regarding the procurement of construction works. For example, a recent successful engagement with the Office of Public Works on the issue of Flood Relief is an ever-increasing feature of the work carried out by the CIF, with members and staff of the Federation meeting with representatives from these bodies on a regular basis.

Construction Waste Management

Significant concerns have emerged about construction waste, with waste facilities forced to close early having reached capacity and members in some areas being forced to stockpile or transport their waste material over long distances. With increased volumes of waste expected as the economy improves and large scale projects such as the National Children’s Hospital get underway, the CIF will continue to engage with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government as well as the Environmental Planning Agency with a view to resolving both the short and long term problems this issue presents.

CECA Excellence Awards

The inaugural CECA Excellence Awards were presented at the tenth Annual CECA Dinner, on Friday 16 September 2016. The Awards sought to honour the passionate work of CECA members of all sizes, across all aspects of the industry.

Residential Development

On the housing front the CIF has been active in 2016/17 to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place in the coming years to facilitate the sustainable development of housing stock to meet the countries needs. A viable housebuilding business is essential to the delivery of Ireland’s critical housing needs. Challenges facing the industry are being articulated on an ongoing basis to relevant policy and decision makers.

During 2016 and 2017, CIF made submissions on:

  • Draft Guidelines for Implementation of Part V of the Planning & Development Act 2000;
  • Residential Rental Strategy to the Department of Housing Planning Community and Local Government, and;
  • Loan to Value and Loan to Income Regulations under Macro Prudential Policy for Residential Mortgage Lending to the Central Bank.

Demand for Skills in Construction to 2020

In 2016 the CIF collaborated with SOLAS and DKM Economic Consultants to produce the Report, Demand for Skills in Construction to 2020, which estimates that there will be 112,000 new jobs to be filled up to 2020 if the industry is to achieve a projected output in infrastructure, commercial, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and housing development roll-out.

A number of parallel recruitment initiatives were undertaken on behalf of the industry in 2016 and continued into 2017. These included the establishment of apprentoces.ie and cifjobs.ie web portals to promote construction career opportunities to in schools and colleges and attract ex pat workers and skilled construction professional working abroad.

Learning & Training

During 2017, CIF was delighted to announce the rollout of its eLearning platform, which adds to its existing range of in class programmes for delivering course modules.

Initial eLearning programmes include: Core Safety Management Renewal Programme; Contracts & Legislation 2016/17; Building Control & Amendment Regulations (BCAR); Building Regulations modules; and CIF Standardised Site Induction, with the roll-out of further programmes planned.

CIRI

CIF launched The Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI), in 2014. CIRI is the official online register, supported by Government, of competent builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and tradespersons who undertake to carry out construction works. It is the primary online resource used by consumers in the public and private procurement of construction services and has been seen as one Government Minister said “critically important in restoring public confidence in the construction industry”. It is anticipated that CIRI will be put on a statutory footing by Government before the end of 2017.