The last two days have brought out into the public domain a story on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) pursuing alleged price fixing cartels operating in the construction industry that has been about for some time.
When APSE first tried to give some exposure to this story about 12 months ago we received a series of veiled threats from a number of parties with vested interests. Therefore it was no real surprise to me that when we issued our press release on the story, where we called for local authorities who find in the course of the OFT's investigation that they have lost out, to recover any loss by all means available, that once again these cheerleaders for big companies decided to try to rubbish us and divert the press from the really story of alleged fraud on a colossal scale. If the OFT allegations are proven then this appears as nothing short of a smash and grab raid on the public purse.
APSE is quite happy to be portrayed as a vigorous defender of the public purse and the Daily Mail, MJ, New Start magazine and many others ran sympathetic stories on our position. Its a pity Construction News decided to accept the spin of darker forces and protect their readerships interest rather than the publics. These same dark forces who are quoted as unnamed sources and industry insiders have the audacity to suggest public sector clients are at fault because they in some way left the opportunity open and it was to irresistible to refuse sticking their hand in the till and helping themselves. If it has taken the OFT four years to get to this stage of the investigation with all its resources how are a group of public sector surveyors supposed to police people who are allegedly meeting in secret many miles away and carving up dubious deals between them.
I suppose it will all come out in the wash of the ongoing investigation, I am happy to take flak for trying to protect the public purse in my view its got to be better than not only sounding like the Lord Haw Haw of the Construction Industry but having the morals to match.