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Steel firms shun government contractor register

SPECIALIST STEEL contractors are turning away from the government backed Constructionline register of pre-qualified construction services after a row over entry requirements.

Until August this year approval by the Register of Qualified Steelwork Contractors (RQSC) was the only route available for steel firms to get onto the Constructionline register, which costs between £70 and £1,200 to join.

RQSC accreditation depends on regular audit by RQSC assessors. But in August it was agreed that steelwork contractors could go straight onto Constructionline for approval, a change the RQSC could not accept.

Constructionline does not carry out audits but accepted firms instead on the strength of detailed applications.

'Constructionline's main interest seems to be increasing the size of the database rather than ensuring those companies involved are up to standard, ' said British Constructional Steelwork Association director general Derek Tordoff.

'After consulting with all the 65 companies on our register we have decided not to renew their Constructionline registrations.

'We agree with the basic philosophy of a single construction industry register but it must have credibility.'

Constructionline said in a statement : 'It was accepted by both parties that Constructionline, in its current form, was not applicable to RQSC as an organisation due to the way the procurement process works and the fact that many of its members work solely in the private sector. It does, however, have a value for over 60 individual RQSC members who have remained on Constructionline'

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