20 December 2004 NEW INQUIRY

20 December 2004 NEW INQUIRY

Sustainable Procurement Policy

The Committee is today launching an inquiry into how environmental considerations are incorporated into public procurement policy. The Committee expects to examine several areas relating to this issue. We would particularly like to receive evidence on two matters: firstly, how  EU regulations influence or restrict public procurement policy; secondly, how the drive for public sector efficiency may impact on the inclusion of environmental considerations within procurement policy.

We are seeking answers to the following:

• Is there a clear overall strategy within Government for implementing a sustainable procurement policy? How coherent and effective is the guidance made available to departments, non-departmental bodies and local authorities on this issue? Are the roles and responsibilities for dealing with sustainable procurement clear?

• What scope do EU Regulations allow for environmental considerations to be included in public purchasing policy? To what extent does the UK Government's public procurement policy fully exploit this scope?

• How are the public sector efficiency proposals in the Gershon Review likely to impact on the implementation of a sustainable procurement policy within both central and local Government? How might the inclusion of environmental specification in the procurement process be affected? Is the Office of Government Commerce's £3 billion cost-saving target likely to have a detrimental impact on environmental considerations?

The Committee expects to take oral evidence on this inquiry in February and early March 2005

Written evidence should be sent to the Committee by Friday 4th February 2005,  preferably by e-mail to eacom@parliament.uk (with a hard copy by post). A brief guidance note on the preparation and submission of evidence is available on the Committee's web pages.  For further information on the Committee's inquiry, please telephone 020-7219-4102.

Notes for Editors

1. Details of all the Committee's press releases and inquiries, together with its Reports, oral evidence and other publications, are available on the Committee's Internet homepage.