All Govt & Regulatory Articles

The future of reduced VAT in Europe
The Commission is now in favour of permanently allowing reduced rates of VAT for private repair and maintenance work. FIEC is now focussing its efforts on Member States to ensure those opposed to reduced VAT do not de-rail the legislation.
Mexico's Farac programme invites bids for third highway package
Mexico's transport and communications ministry (SCT) will be inviting bids for a third highway package under the federal road re-concession program Farac, according to a local news report.
Plan to connect Dubai and Abu Dhabi with high-speed rail link
The possibility of constructing a high-speed rail link connecting Abu Dhabi with Dubai is being discussed according to the chairman of the UAE capital's Department of Transport (DoT).
Loan worth US$ 110 million proposed for South American road scheme
Argentine president Cristina Fernández and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) have signed a US$ 110 million loan for the Argentina-Paraguay road integration programme, the government said in a statement.
Record Russian investment
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has approved a seven-year, US$ 570 billion programme to overhaul and expand the country's transportation infrastructure. It is will be the largest infrastructure building scheme Russia has seen since the collapse of the USSR.
EIC takes stand on corruption
European International Contractors (EIC), a trade association that represents European contractors working outside their national boundaries, has published a draft position paper on corruption prevention.
Record educational order
The Polish Ministry of Education has agreed to buy more than 860 surveying instruments from Topcon. The order, comprising 430 total stations and 430 optical levels is thought to be a world record.
REACH impact
The new REACH legislation on chemicals will mean construction companies and workers are given more information about the risks associated with materials they deal with. FIEC is involved in initiatives to ensure this is done effectively, and that information can travel up and down the supply chain.
Case studies
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there were 77 fatalities in the UK construction industry between 2006 and 2007, a 28% increase on the previous year. Twenty-three (30%) of those were due to falls from height and 16 (21%) were caused by a moving or falling object. This amounted to 3.7 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers, up from 3 per 100,000 in the 2005 to 2006 period.
Legislation and change
As the landscape changes in the crane industry so the legislation governing it needs to reflect implications of these changes and evolve where necessary. A good example is the State of Queensland, Australia. Brent Stacey reports
Keeping global markets open
In a speech earlier this year, Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, noted that in times of big changes and uncertainties, globalisation is increasingly perceived as a threat.
Top marks
Neil England, business performance manager at ConstructionSkills in the UK, talks about its new Plant Manager Safety Training Scheme, and why training is everybody's business.
Canadian training strategies
Gerry Hughes, executive director at the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO), reports on Canada's comprehensive training requirements and how his organisation is meeting those needs
Opt-out to hit construction
The European Parliament's plans to amend the Working Time Directive include removing the 48 hour working week opt-out clause. Supporters claim that the changes would improve health and safety, as well as enhance work-life balance, but the construction industry claims that it will have serious implications for the sector. Claire Symes reports.
Development banks target corruption
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has joined forces with the World Bank and other international development banks to fight corruption. Under the agreement the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will develop a framework to tackle fraud
Dubai reveals plans to build eco-friendly real estate
Dubai has unveiled an AED 200 billion (US$ 54.4 billion) environmentally friendly real estate project stretching over 82 km2, according to local news agency Wam.
112 named in UK bid rigging probe
The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has alleged that 112 construction companies in the UK have engaged in bid rigging. The allegations, in the form of a Statement of Objections, follow one of the largest ever investigations under the UK's Competition Act.
Non-compliance illustrated
Despite their illegality and failure to conform to EU laws, non-compliant construction machines are still being sold and used in Europe. To help contractors avoid buying such equipment, CECE presents a brief guide to the main danger signs.
Lead Market Initiative
The development of sustainable construction practices is one of six key areas singled-out by the Commission's Lead Market Initiative. FIEC believes this could lead to better regulation, more standardisation and greater efficiency in the industry.
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