Implementation of the UK Government’s Timber Procurement Policy – The OGC Furniture Framework Agreement as an example
As an Executive Agency of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in the Treasury Buying Solutions provide a professional procurement service to the public sector to enable organisations to deliver improved value for money in their commercial activities and provide professional support and technical advice.
Buying Solutions is currently re-tendering the Furniture Framework Agreement, which attracts a spend of £60 – 65 million each year. Buying Solutions is requiring that the timber or wood-derived products used by all selected suppliers to make desks, chairs and storage must satisfy Government policy and have been using the CPET Helpline when developing the general furniture specifications.
In the specifications for Legal and Sustainable Timber Sourcing, Buying Solutions refers to the latest UK Government's Timber Procurement Advice Note (available for download here) and lists the Supplementary Conditions of Contract and the Model Contract Specification Clause in annexes. The specifications for Timber Sourcing also require that “Successful suppliers [..] provide a ring binder with Timber Source information within one month after formal acceptance” and states that “Evidence will be requested at Buying Solutions timber source audits at regular intervals during the contract period”.
Evidence of compliance with the UK Governments timber procurement policy can be provided in two categories: Category A and Category B as explained on the CPET website here. Category A refers to the supply of product where the source of the timber and all links in the supply chain are covered by valid certification scheme (forest management and chain-of-custody certification).
Category B evidence is all other forms of credible evidence other than a fully certified supply chain. Broadly, Category B evidence will indicate that the forest source meets the UK Government's criteria for sustainability and/or legality. A demonstrable chain-of-custody will link the end-purchase with the forest source. Where there is a certified source (i.e. a certified forest supplying the material) then certificates can be used along with CPET Checklist 1 on supply chain information (available for download here) to demonstrate compliance. Where the forest source is not certified, then Checklist 2 (Forest Source Legality) and Checklist 3 (Forest Source Sustainability) should be used to demonstrate the legal and/or sustainable origin of the wood. (See CPET practical guides on supply chain and forest source information here).
Buying Solutions expect the majority of timber used in the manufacture of products covered by the furniture framework will be supplied with Category A evidence
John Wylie, OGCbuying.solutions’ Category Specialist for Furniture, acknowledges that the specifications on timber require some technical knowledge on how to provide the acceptable evidence of compliance. John Wylie advises suppliers supplying through the OGC furniture framework agreement, to contact CPET for free advice and support on evidence of compliance.
For further information contact:
OGC Buying Solutions Customer Service Desk on 0845 410 2222