as building went to press, the DTI was about to reveal the results of an internal review that could affect the government's sponsorship of construction.
Trade secretary Patricia Hewitt was to announce the shake-up yesterday, after a four-month investigation into the work of the department.

The construction directorate, which moved from the old DETR after the June election, has three main functions at present: industry sponsorship, innovation and the compiling of market data.

It also backs two key industry initiatives, Constructionline and the quality mark scheme. Both are in some degree of difficulty, and may be eventually be merged.

When the departmental review was announced in June, Hewitt said she wanted the department to support and encourage business modernisation and innovation.

She said this would be partly done by improving links business' access to scientific and technological advances.