Government tells contractors “Buy British Steel”

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The story over TATA and the production of British steel has been all over the news of late it has been announced that from now on the Government has extended rules to encourage the use of British steel with procurement chiefs at Highways England and Network rail the first port of call.

The MP for business Sajid Javid said that the procurement of steel should be number one priority over cheaper imports with “the social and economic impact of the steel they source” a major consideration.

All contractors working on all government contracts  will also have to advertise their steel requirements to give UK suppliers a chance to compete.

The move is part of a package of measures to protect the domestic steel industry as it faces financial meltdown in the face of cheap imports from China.

The Government is drawing up a list of steel suppliers who the expect those working on Government contacts to use and to uphold and “meet stringent criteria including high and robust standards around health and safety, environmental impacts, responsible sourcing, supply chain management and training the workforce.”

The Government continued : “The list will be used by the Government and its contractors and will help to ensure a level playing field for those suppliers who meet the criteria.”

The latest moves are an extension of policies designed to encourage the use of British Steel on major projects like HS2 where “steel contracts for this £55 billion project will not go abroad if the most competitive bid is British.”

Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, commented saying : “Last year we changed the rules across all central government procurement to ensure buyers take into account the true value of British steel – including local impact and jobs.

“Now we will apply this guidance across the public sector so that, from operating theatres to new buildings, public sector buyers will need to consider social and economic benefits, alongside value for money.

“When public bodies buy steel they must taking account of the true value of buying British.”