11 August 2008 | Jake Kanter
New rules on timber procurement for public sector buyers will come into force from 1 April 2009.
The regulations, announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement, will require buyers to purchase independently verified, legal and sustainable timber. It replaces previous guidance in place since 2004.
Buyers will be expected to provide proof of where they have sourced timber. Purchasing processes must be approved by a government certification scheme or be supported by carefully documented evidence. This will ensure supplies are secured from legally and responsibly managed forests.
During the pre-qualification process, buyers must clearly define their needs and inform vendors of specifications. Suppliers with a good record of providing legal timber should be notified that it would help them secure an invitation to tender.
Once a contract has been awarded, buyers must remain vigilant and ensure every aspect of the supply chain meets standards. Vendors who are unable to provide evidence of credible supply chain processes could be excluded from future tenders.