Whitehall procurers encouraged to buy British steel

2 Nov 15

Whitehall has changed its procurement rules in a bid to encourage the use of British steel in major infrastructure projects.

Under the revised guidelines, published today by Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock, government departments will be expected to take into account the social impacts of competing suppliers for projects worth more than £10m and which have a “significant steel component”.

Factors that should now be taken into account include the impact on jobs, protecting the health and safety of staff and the social integration of disadvantaged workers.

The guidance also encourages departments to assess the carbon footprint of bids and requires contractors to advertise their requirements for steel so that UK steel firms can compete.

Hancock said the reforms would give British steel suppliers, who have been hit by a series of plant closures, a level playing field with international suppliers.

In addition, contractors to the government will be required to advertise their requirements for steel so that UK steel firms can compete for contracts from firms such as High Speed 2 and Network Rail.
“By asking procurers on major UK projects to consider social and environmental impacts, we are building a Britain that is happier, healthier and better off,” Hancock said.

“We will always strive to get the best value for money for taxpayers and we are going to do so in a way that strengthens our economy and bolsters the long-term prosperity of people across the country. I don’t want contracts going abroad if the best bid is a British bid with all the social and economic benefits that brings.”

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