James While expresses a common concern over the time consuming/costly business of completing pre-qualification questionnaires (AJ 19.2.98). This is an issue which affects contractors and consultants alike.
The Construction Industry Council (CIC) and its sister umbrella bodies have been pressing the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to recognise this in the arrangements it is making for the transfer of operations of Constructionline (previously known as the Contractor Management Information System (CMIS) and the Register of Consultants (Con Reg)) to a privatesector partner.
For the register to thrive, the industry argues, there will have to be much wider subscription by both private and public clients. The only way to ensure this is if the winner of the competition to take over the running of Constructionline is able to quickly demonstrate the benefits of participation in a common register to the whole industry and its clients.
The umbrella bodies have advised the DETR that full industry participation in the development of policy for the privatised operation will be essential for the necessary expansion of the register. Without that expansion any commercial operator will fail. The industry is anxious that the initiative does not fail for all the reasons James While identifies.
An announcement from DETR giving the result of the competition to run Constructionline is expected shortly.
JULIEN PARROTT CIC policy and projects manager