Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Best Practice and Ethical Business - Be Careful

A recent Board meeting of Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) considered the state of the economy, and how this was affecting building activity and business practices. One unfortunate result of tighter times, is an increase in reports of unethical dealings in the construction industry.

The relative scarcity of work is seeing various contractors, built environment professionals and clients resorting to unscrupulous practices when it comes to tenders and tendering practices. Creamer Media's Engineering News reports that the Competition Commission is regularly receiving requests for leniency for bid-rigging cases. The article suggest that bid rigging and cover pricing is rife, and warns that the Commission will be tackling anti -competitive behaviour head-on.

Pressure on cash flow is also causing unhappiness. Clients are not paying their contractors timeously and some contractors are treating their sub-contractors in the same way. This practice will not stand you in good stead and many perpetrators have suddenly found that nobody worthwhile wants to perform work for them.

Occupational Health and Safety is also sometimes an early victim to poor cash flow. If an incident occurs and someone is hurt, the court will not consider cash flow as an acceptable excuse for not obeying the rules.

There is no doubt that economic pressure forces us to find ways to work smarter and leaner to stay afloat. Some measures, such as the ones listed above, are just not worth it.

Brandon Abdinor
Executive Director


No comments: