Construction Statistics: News

Construction Statistics Transfer 2007


On 15 October the ONS announced the transfer of construction statistics based in Bristol from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR – formerly the DTI) to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), to take place on 1 March 2008.

Agreement was reached in principle to transfer the DTI construction statistics’ collections based in Bristol to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2005. During 2007 BERR reached an agreement with the Office for National Statistics that responsibility for the collection of statistics on construction output and new orders should be transferred to ONS from 1 March 2008. The data collections affected are construction output and new orders and collections dependent on those. These are published on the BERR website at

http://www.berr.gov.uk/sectors/construction/ConstructionStatistics/OutputandEmployment/page19602.html (construction output) and

http://www.berr.gov.uk/sectors/construction/ConstructionStatistics/NewOrders/page19926.html (construction new orders).

Collection of construction statistics is not a core activity for BERR to the same extent that it is for ONS.

Statisticians in BERR will continue to analyse and interpret construction data for policy colleagues within the department and for industry customers.



Responsibility for six surveys produced at the Bristol site will be transferred to the ONS. Support will remain in BERR for briefing on these surveys and on wider construction activity. Other construction statistics survey work is already out-sourced by BERR and management of this will remain in BERR.

Bristol-based Surveys.

Six construction surveys collected at Bristol will be transferred:

• Quarterly Inquiry of Activity for Construction and Allied Trades
• The Building and Civil Engineering Employment and Output Enquiry
• Monthly Inquiry of Contracts and New Orders
• Annual Inquiry
• Quarterly Inquiry of Projects in Progress
• Key Performance Indicators

The ONS and BERR will develop a service agreement to preserve customer service after a transfer. This will include continued access to micro-data. Many of the Bristol construction statistics are published in the ‘Construction Statistics Annual’ - a paper and web publication that is an important industry reference source. ONS will continue to produce this.

Briefing and Analysis.

BERR will continue to be responsible for briefing and analysis services to customers in respect of Bristol survey results, as for wider construction activity issues. The resource required to carry this out will continue in BERR and ONS will provide BERR with the necessary continuing supply of micro-data used by construction statisticians.

ONS have undertaken that there will be no changes in the range and detail of statistics supplied for the construction industry as a result of this transfer. In this way, the transition will be as seamless as possible to users of the data.


The steps in the transfer are as follows:

• Announce the transfer on 15 October 2007.
• Transfer responsibility for the work to ONS on 1 March 2008.
• Second the BERR Bristol staff to ONS for twelve months from 1 March 2008 to 1 March 2009.
• Move the work from Bristol to Newport on 1 March 2009.
• Close the Bristol site as soon as possible after 1 March 2009.

Implications for Staff

The transfer of the work will include the transfer of all the Bristol construction statistics’ posts and one London statistician post.

During the period from 1 March 2008 to 1 March 2009 the present staff will continue to be employed on the data collections as they are now at the BERR offices in Bristol.

After the secondment to ONS ends BERR will make provision for the staff whose posts have been transferred to ONS and who do not wish to transfer. BERR and ONS are working closely with the unions on all issues prior to the transfer.

Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - BERR

October 2007

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