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To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission what steps are taken by the Central Procurement Office to ensure that procurement policies apply criteria that maximise advantage to the environment; what relative weight is given to these compared with achieving best value for money; and if he will make a statement.
The Central Procurement Office requires an initial examination of suppliers' environmental performance at bidder selection stage. Questions about breaches of environmental law, and bidders' environmental policies, are asked as a matter of routine for all procurements conducted under UK contracts regulations. Any breach of the law is grounds for rejection. Weighting given to environmental policies will vary and be appropriate to the potential environmental impact of performing the contract. This standard approach is followed regardless of other award criteria.
Weighting given to environmental factors in the evaluation of tenders will also depend on the potential impact of performance of the contract. Advantage to the environment is taken into account as part of the overall value for money assessment.