Buildings: Insulation

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 18th March 2021.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will review Public Contracts Regulations 2015 to ensure that local authorities can exclude those applying for contracts who have previously constructed premises with cladding that has been found to be a dangerous fire risk.

Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will review the guidance for Central Government Departments, Executive Agencies and Non Departmental Public Bodies for local authorities so that bidders can be excluded if they are responsible for constructing premises with cladding that has been found to be a dangerous fire risk.

Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to Regulation 57 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, whether it is his Department's policy that local authorities can mandatorily or discretionarily exclude a bidder from a contract if they are responsible for constructing premises with cladding that has been found to be a dangerous fire risk.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Matters concerning the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are the responsibility of Cabinet Office, including the grounds for the exclusion of bidders from public procurement procedures that are set out within the regulations.

These rules set out the circumstances in which bidders must, or may, be excluded from a public procurement process for a variety of criminal offences and in other specific situations. Decisions need to be based around firm evidence and individual contracting authorities, including local authorities, are responsible for their own decisions on these matters.

The Green Paper “Transforming Government Procurement” includes a package of proposals to bolster the existing exclusion grounds, including discretionary measures to exclude for poor past performance even if it had not led to termination, damages or comparable sanctions. The Government will also investigate the feasibility of developing a centrally managed debarment list of suppliers who have relevant convictions to make it easier for contracting authorities to identify organisations that must be excluded from public procurement. Detailed analysis of the consultation responses will follow in due course.

More widely, it is also clear that further measures must be put in place to prevent unsafe products being placed on the market and there must be action against companies which advertise and sell unsafe products, or who game the testing regime.

That is why we have brought forward proposals to strengthen the regulation of construction products in the draft Building Safety Bill. We have also announced in January a new national regulator for construction products, and a review into the construction product testing regime. We expect all public suppliers to act with integrity and to high standards, and will act where we see standards falling short.

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