Last edited 20 Feb 2021

Phillips Report on Building

The Working Party Report to the Minister of Works: The Phillips Report on Building, was published by HMSO in 1950.

It was the first post war report on construction and set out to assess:

It was written within the context of lower productivity, higher material costs, optimistic reconstruction programmes, an acceleration of electrification, full employment and high wages. During the war, the construction industry lost 230,000 operatives.

Phillips suggest that more certainty should be achievable within the construction industry. He called for greater advance knowledge, better management and more complete preplanning with full working drawings and bills of quantities and the abolition of variations clauses.

He proposed that there should be more collaboration, co-ordination and flexibility across the industry, and suggested pay incentive schemes for workers to tackle the fall in productivity. He suggested some of the problems in the industry could be tackled by a standard contract for public procurement and called for an end to the proliferation of nominated subcontractors.

It was followed in 1962 by The Ministry of Works' 'Survey of Problems before the Construction Industries', commonly known as the Emmerson Report, which again found a lack of cohesion between the parties to construction contracts and proposed the standardisation of contracts and subcontracts.

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