CPET Construction Sector Pilot Project published
Though the timber procurement policy is mandatory for all central government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) the knowledge on implementation has been limited. Several stakeholders from government bodies, the trade and industry have in past years requested that better information should be made available on policy implementation and that reinforcing implementation of the policy should be the top priority. Specific issues such as a lack of clear targets, no incentives/disincentives for contractors and a lack of spot-checking needed to be addressed to support implementation of the policy.
In order to address these issues, Defra commissioned CPET to conduct the Construction Sector Pilot Project. The construction industry was selected as the focus of the project, as it is the sector where the largest proportion of timber is used within Government.
The objectives of the project were to provide an initial assessment of:
· The current level of implementation of the UK Government’s timber procurement policy.
· The feasibility of introducing requirements for reporting on timber purchasing including the feasibility of using a reporting format proposed by Defra.
Based on the findings, the report provides recommendations and outlines necessary actions:
1) There is some variability in implementation across the public bodies and the report recommends that Defra does more to embed the policy and to develop a strategy for awareness raising.
2) There is a lack of reporting on timber procurement and it is recommended that a feasible reporting system is implemented.
3) There is little monitoring of timber policy delivery. It is recommended that feedback mechanisms are developed which recognise and reward compliance and react to non-compliance.
Defra is following up on the recommendations and views the report as a helpful assessment of progress to date,. The report will now be used as a baseline for measuring the success of our current strategy and all future implementation work. An implementation strategy has already been developed from the early results and recommendations of the report. This strategy picks up on three essential elements: raising awareness, monitoring and reporting. This implementation strategy has been discussed and agreed with representatives from the timber trade and NGOs at a recent Reference Board meeting. A joint implementation strategy has also been developed for the wider public sector, including local authorities, which are not mandated by central government policy. Defra has also taken steps to clarify policy applicability through the new guidance note on the 2009 step change in policy and a number of articles specifying that all central departments, their executive agencies and non departmental public bodies are mandated by the policy.