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Highland Council To Use Firms Registered With Constructionline In Future

9th February 2007

Highland councilors will be asked at a meeting of the Resources committee on 14th February 2007 in Inverness to approve the use of contractors who are registered with Constructionline, an Approved List register of assessed companies.
See www.constructionline.co.uk

Several councils and other public bodies in Scotland already require contractors and consultants in the construction industry to be registered with Constructionline as part of the pre-qualification requirements when applying for property-related construction tenders.

The new requiremnts wouldd phased -
Phase 1 commencing 1 April 2007 for capital projects whose values are estimated
at 100,000 and over;
Phase 2 commencing 1 April 2008 for capital projects whose values are estimated
at less than 100,000.

The full paper to be presented to Highland councilors on 14th February can be found at
Highland Council Report For Council Meeting 14 February 2007 On Constructionline

It is proposed therefore that the requirement to be registered with Constructionline be
phased in and aimed to firstly cover Capital Projects estimated at 100,000 and over in value commencing on 1 April 2007 with capital contracts below this value following suit a year later. This will give additional assistance through roadshows; dialogue etc, with SMEs by providing an extended period until 1 April 2008, to become registered with Constructionline.

Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 require all public sector bodies to advertise contract tender opportunities for all works, for example via websites such as
www.publictender.co.uk and www.supply2.gov.uk

At present contractors selected for property related construction tender lists are sourced from the P&AS Maintained List of Contractors. Any availability for selection from this list is dependent on up to date information to confirm status of tax certification, insurances and any prerequisite technical or health and safety criteria. (e.g. CORGI, Asbestos license, etc) This is proving to be very resource intense and is a major factor in the request to move to Constructionline as a basis for the compilation and maintenance of a suitable list.

All property related construction projects that exceed the EU minimum threshold of
approximately 3.60million are of course subject to the processes as determined by the appropriate EU Directives. This usually involves an electronic notice within the EU Journal and also appropriate tender notices within national and local publications.

There are a number of initiatives in place, operated by Constructionline, to assist SMEs with Constructionline registration:

Dedicated Helpline - SMEs can use this facility to obtain an appointment for a representative of Constructionline to call them back to help them through the
application process.

SFRR Scheme - (Small Firms Reduced Reference) whereby a Council client can
endorse SMEs for specific work categories removing the need for them to provide
two references for those categories. There are restrictions to this scheme which set
maximum work category values of 150,000 and only apply to companies who
employ no more than 5 persons.

Supplier Helpline - Ongoing support for all registered contractors (tel. 0870
2400152)

Contractor "Roadshows" - To help explain the benefits of registration and provide an opportunity for any queries to be raised and answered. While attendances at these are not exclusively for SMEs the companies they attract tend to be the smaller ones. A Constructionline representative would be present and enquiries have been made to conduct a pilot roadshow in Fort William in conjunction with Scottish Building and the Inland Revenue. Other Councils who have already had similar roadshows include Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, West Dunbartonshire, City of Edinburgh, Fife, East Lothian and West Lothian.

More About Constructionline -

Owned by the Department of Industry (DTI) Constructionline is a contributor to the Rethinking Construction initiative. It is the UK's register of pre-qualified construction contractors and consultants. Constructionline is designed to streamline pre-qualification procedures, to save valuable resources in the construction industry, rendering it more efficient and effective.

Over 12,500 contractors and consultants are registered with Constructionline and have all met pre-qualification requirements supported by the DTI. These requirements can be found under the Other Downloads section on www.constructionline.co.uk. They cover the full spectrum of construction activities from architecture to demolition and range in size from small specialists to the largest main contractors.

Constructionline's 1,500 plus buyers range from large central government departments to Local Authorities, Universities, Further Education and NHS Trusts (portal page link). They have direct access to the database and Constructionline helps them to achieve best value objectives.

The new Constructionline database, launched in March 2006, has been completely rebuilt with leading edge technology and has been designed to integrate seamlessly with buyers' current procurement processes. The system provides buyers with a range of increased functionality including enhanced search features, additional reports and notifications, supplier management tools and increased supplier information. It also enables suppliers to see which buyers have viewed their details, if they have been added to a buyer's list or any feedback has been left on their organisation.

Fees - Annual fees paid by registered contractors are based on their annual turnover
and start at 70 for turnover of up to 250,000. Level 2 is a 195 fee for turnover between 0.25 million and 1 million. There are seven levels in total and the fee levels have not changed since Constructionline was launched in 1998. Approximately 29% of the current total of 13,500 registered companies are level 1 (i.e. the smallest companies at 70 fee) and 28% are level 2, indicating that the majority of companies on the register, to date, are SMEs.

Benefits for buyers
Can help free up valuable resources and streamline your pre-qualification process, allowing you to deliver more efficient and effective services. This will assist you in achieving best value.

saves you money by reducing the administrative burden of maintaining your own lists. The dedicated customer services team ensures that information is up-to-date and regularly assessed.

saves you time. There is no formal pre-qualification stage to assess. Long lists can be generated directly from the database, so that you can focus on delivering more and better services.

The service is free to all clients.

Benefits for contractors and consultants
saves you time by reducing the administrative burden of repeatedly filling in pre-qualification questionnaires. You only have to register once, maintain your data up to date and then provide renewal information annually

registration is value for money - fees start at 70 and are banded against turnover if you are a contractor; against the number of professional and technical staff if you are a consultant.

the central database provides procurers with online access to detailed, and regularly updated information about you.

size doesn't matter. Over half the companies registered have a turnover of less than 500K and many buyers actively encourage the use of small companies.

 

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