Constructionline was launched by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in 1998 to reduce the administrative burden of the pre-qualification process. It is now a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), owned by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) but operated by Capita under a concession agreement.
Pre-qualification involves assessing the level of experience, capacity and financial standing of potential suppliers, enabling clients to produce a short list of suppliers that are likely to be most appropriate for their particular project. This saves time for potential tenderers who would not have a realistic chance of winning the contract and saves time for the client meaning they do not have to process inappropriate tenders.
Constructionline was created to provide a single site for the collection of standard pre-qualification data by suppliers. This reduces duplication of effort, meaning that suppliers do not have to continually prepare the same information for different clients in slightly different ways. Instead, supplier data is collected and validated annually, and entered onto a register of pre-qualified suppliers for construction contracts. Suppliers pay an annual fee for this service.
In 2009, Sir Michael Latham said "Constructionline has continued to play a vital role in improving and simplifying the PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaire) process… to provide a critical business improvement tool." In 2014, Constructionline included more than 22,000 suppliers and 8,000 buyers.
On 15 July 2014, BIS announced it intended to sell Constructionline. Ref BIS, Government sale to help Constructionline exploit growing markets. 15 July 2014.
BIS suggest that, ‘Commercial ownership will allow Constructionline to grow and achieve its full potential, including offering new additional services for the benefit of businesses.’ Investors are invited to submit expressions of interest for purchasing the service. Details of the sale will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
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."
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
 External references
- Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Government sale to help Constructionline exploit growing markets. 15 July 2014
Featured articles and news
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.
Sir Oliver Letwin to lead an independent review into the delays in the delivery of housing.
As Carillion collapses, read our article explaining insolvency in the construction industry.
43,000 jobs at risk as Carillion declares insolvency.