As everyone knows Parliament finally passed the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act last year. Of course, what that did not mean was that the intended changes to the HGCRA legislation came into force immediately. Indeed they may not do so until at least 2011. One reason for this is the need to amend the Scheme so that it falls into line with the changes. On 25 March 2010, BIS, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills issued a consultation document setting out the following proposed changes and questions:

  1. the inclusion of an express provision allowing the adjudicator to determine how payment of his fees should be apportioned;
  2. the inclusion of a slip rule giving the adjudicator seven days to correct his decision;
  3. the incorporation of new rules to reflect the new payment notice framework;
  4. a proposal to clarify the date of referral, for example seven days from the receipt of the adjudication notice by the adjudicator;
  5. asks whether parties are content with the current position that an adjudicator cannot adjudicate related disputes unless the parties agree;
  6. questions whether the position about the confidentiality or otherwise of the adjudication process should be clarified;
  7. asks whether the limitations under the Scheme on an adjudicator’s power to open up and review any decision or certificate that is said to be final and conclusive, should be lifted or clarified; and
  8. asks whether an adjudicator should be given wider powers to award interest.

Full details can be found on the BIS website - www.bis.gov.uk and the consultation closes on 18 June 2010.