Shortly before the dissolution of Parliament at the beginning of May, Mr Alan Brown, MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, introduced a Private Members' Bill to reform the treatment of cash retentions in the construction industry. Mr Brown noted that retentions are often not released in a timely manner, requiring small to medium enterprises to spend time chasing for their release. He also said that retentions may be lost altogether due to the insolvency of a firm's upstream contractor or employer.
The Bill provides possible alternative routes for the construction industry to follow, which include Project Bank Accounts (which are operated on all Scottish Government projects where the Government is the employer) and retention monies being ring-fenced in separate bank accounts (an approach adopted in the US, Australia and New Zealand). Following the dissolution of parliament and the recent General Election, the bill will now need to be re-introduced and it will be interesting to see whether the proposals survive this interruption.