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Government to sell off Constructionline

The Government is to privatise the state-owned construction supplier database, Constructionline.

The database, which acts as a prequalification system, is currently operated by Capita under a concession agreement with its owner, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

A BIS spokesperson said: “Constructionline offers valuable services to the construction industry, particularly small and medium sized businesses. It has grown significantly under government ownership, and now is the time to enable it to expand further to meet the needs of a changing industry.

“Gaining access to private capital will enable Constructionline to become even more competitive and branch out into new markets.

“Bids will be welcomed from buyers who plan to grow the services provided by Constructionline.”

Launched by the New Labour government in 1998, Constructionline was intended to remove the administrative burden of finding trusted construction suppliers for thousands of public and private sector clients every year. It aims to ensure supplier data such as health and safety, technical ability and financial information is kept up to date.

Constructionline now has a database of over 22,000 suppliers, and links buyers with suitable contractors. Suppliers also benefit from access to over 8,000 buyers.

The database service levies annual fees on the supplier firms for the pre-qualification service it provides, and these fees represent the main revenue stream for Constructionline. The level of the fee depends on the size of the firm’s turnover.

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