It has been a very busy month for CPET. It started off with two training workshops for a contractor to central Government departments in Northern England. Back in the office we finalised some work in preparation for the upcoming workshop on public procurement policies in Denmark and have developed a Briefing Note on the UK Government’s Timber Procurement policy available for download here. The briefing note summarises the history of the policy, highlights the impacts and discusses the practicalities of implementation.
We have also finally published the almost 300 comments received during last year’s consultation on the new policy. We have summarised how each comment was used and the document including the comments and the responses can be found here. The comments have provided important input for Defra in interpreting the new policy and developing the new Guidance Note which will replace the current one (published in November 2005) when the new policy becomes active next year. We hope to publish the new Guidance Note in April this year.
Following several requests we have now also added a links section on the CPET website (which you can see here). This section provides links to the web pages of organisations providing information and/or training on technical issues which are not within the scope of CPET. Under the Category B evidence section we have added some examples of how this type of evidence can be provided including the first case study provided by the Environment Agency which describes the process of obtaining Category B evidence for the purchase of the tropical hardwood Greenheart.
The oversight committee met this month. They have the task of reviewing the work of CPET and ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest. The members went through CPET responses and a few issues identified by CPET and reported no conflicts of interest.
The last part of the month included another trip to Northern Ireland following the visit in January. This was to run a training course for the remaining 100 NI Housing Executive’s personnel in compliance with the new NEC3’s contract clauses on timber. These are based on the requirements of the UK Government.
CPET also joined Defra in training their personnel and suppliers at the ‘Embedding sustainability into the Defra supply chain’ event in London and gave a marathon set of six mini workshops in one day. We were also invited to the Mayor of London’s ‘Green procurement code fixtures and fittings for a greener office - meet the supplier’ event and presented the policy to about 100 people from Local Authorities and companies who are contracted to and/or supply public bodies.
This month the report on implementation of the policy in the construction sector has undergone internal Government review and is currently being finalised with inputs from the technical review group before the report is published - thanks to all who contributed.
Finally, the two-yearly review of Category A evidence is now almost due and will begin in a couple of months. We have developed a new methodology which means that the assessment of whether or not certification schemes meet UK Government requirements will be undertaken by a technical panel of experts rather than CPET. For more information have a look at the documents here.