Specialist calls for setting up of construction dispute resolution

Friday, December 12, 2008
Issue 555, Page 5
Word count: 346
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The SAR government should set up a formal system in dealing with disputes in the construction industry, said a specialist yesterday.

According to Chris Morgan from the Hong Kong Government Panels of Dispute Resolution Advisors (DRA), worldwide the construction industry had “quite a bad record for disputes” but a lot of countries had introduced various measures in order to try to minimise the problem.

One of them is mediation instead of going to court which Mr Morgan said had been found to be “very successful”.

“I think mediation hasn’t been used in Macau but on the presumption that Macau will bring in international contractors for major projects from time to time, I think they need to set up this system,” he told the Macau Daily Times.

Meanwhile, Mr Morgan also suggested the introduction of the DRA System in Macau which had proved effective in Hong Kong for the past 15 years.

“DRA is an independent person that joins the project from the beginning and tries minimising disputes at the same time,” he said.

“It is a very cost effective measure to do which is about 0.05 percent of the total construction cost,” he added.

On the other hand, Mr Morgan, who is also a member of the British Chamber of Commerce Construction Industry Group, said that he was concerned about the SAR government’s plan to deport imported labourers from Macau.

“I can fully understand Macau wants to protect local workers and minimise unemployment, but the problem is there is not enough skilled professionals for all the various discipline areas,” he said.

“There is quite a lot of concern at the moment. Investors will think twice about coming into any area if they cannot bring in the right skills or resources. I think that’s an issue which the SAR government will need to look at,” he added.

Cannonway Construction Consultants (Macau), founded by Mr Morgan, yesterday held a seminar at The Venetian Macau in which a number of guest speakers were invited to talk about “the effect of the economic tsunami on construction and investment in Macau”.

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