DTI to tell Wilson that anti-cowboy scheme should be given to not-for-profit company run by industry.
A government review into the troubled quality mark is to recommend that its running be handed to the construction industry.

The DTI is meeting industry chiefs today as the culmination of a three-month review of the anti-cowboy initiative. When the report is completed, its conclusions will be given to construction minister Brian Wilson, who will then decide on the scheme's future.

A Whitehall source said the DTI would push for the formation of a not-for-profit company to manage the mark.

He predicted that the decision would trigger "a real cat fight" between industry bodies wanting to run the scheme.

However, the source stressed that Wilson would have the final say. "The decision is still up in the air – it will only be resolved when Brian Wilson decides on the review this month. It still could be scrapped."

The news comes as it emerged that the scheme's pilots in Birmingham and Somerset have so far attracted only 138 contractors.

Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said he would welcome the formation of a not-for-profit company to run the scheme.

He said the CIC would be a good choice to help manage the mark as it had no conflicts of interest. The CIC's members will not be vetted under the scheme.

Barry Stephens, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, argued for the opposite point of view. He said the scheme should be run by interested parties because they would have more incentive to make it a success.

He agreed with Watts that the governing body should be a not-for-profit organisation.

A DTI spokesperson refused to be drawn on the scheme. He said: "We are considering industry involvement in the scheme, but nobody can prejudge the report."

As part of the review process, trade federation officials will highlight their concerns over the cost of joining the scheme.

Trade associations such the Federation of Master Builders have threatened to withdraw support, unless the cost of membership is reduced.

It is expected that, if Wilson opts for a not-for-profit company, its membership will include representatives from consumer groups and trading standards authorities.