The government has issued Procurement Policy Action Note 16/15, of 30 October 2015, on the procurement of steel in major projects. It applies, with immediate effect, to all central government departments, their executive agencies and non departmental public bodies and to any infrastructure, construction or other major procurement project with a significant steel component, where the overall project require- ment has a capital value of £10 million or more.
Key actions in the Note include requiring contracting authorities to ensure that Tier 1 contractors include, in their tenders, supply chain plans setting out, where known, how, and from which supplier, steel will be sourced, and to include a contract condition to ensure that the Tier 1 contractor and its subcontractors openly advertise any remaining supply chain opportu- nities for the provision of steel (i.e. where no contractual arrangements have been agreed by the date of the main contract award).
Contract awards should be on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender, which can be assessed on a cost-effective basis that explicitly includes environmental and/or social criteria, where these are linked to the contract’s subject matter, and are transparent and non discriminatory. Environmental criteria could include the carbon footprint of construction materials and social criteria could include taking into account the benefits of employment and supply chain activity, including protecting the health and safety of staff, social integration of disadvantaged workers, or skills training needed to perform the contract, such as the hiring of apprentices.