Government forces compaines to reveal steel sources

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New guidelines have been issued so main contractors will have to reveal and prove where they are buying there steel from when bidding for major contracts, under emergency government plans to level the playing field for the UK steel industry.

These new measures are to introduced to stop the use of cheaper imported Chinese steel as concern grows that projects like HS2 will suck in huge amounts of cheap imported steel from China threatening the existence of UK steel work fabricators and suppliers and the jobs that these plants support.

New Government procurement guidelines also urge all public clients to look at the carbon footprint of steel supplies, including transport costs, when judging bids from main contractors.

Government has today published new guidelines for departments to apply on major projects when sourcing and buying steel. The new instructions will help steel suppliers compete on a level playing field with international suppliers for major government projects.

Government departments will be encouraged to take into account the social impacts of competing suppliers. This includes the impact on jobs, protecting the health and safety of staff and the social integration of disadvantaged workers as well as placing a responsibility on firms to upskill the workforce. The guidance 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. This will improve visibility of opportunities on major projects such as HS2 and Network Rail, so that UK steel suppliers will be able to bid.

The new requirements, spearheaded by the Steel Procurement Working Group, are intended to open up the steel market, level the playing field for UK business and stimulate competition.

Matthew Hancock, Paymaster General and Chair of the Working Group, said: