Guidance on projects with a significant steel composition: SPPN 03/2016

Guidance on the application of social issues for projects with a significant steel composition.

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Guidance on the application of social issues for projects with a significant steel composition


The Scottish Government is committed to implementing measures that will address any barriers that prevent UK suppliers of steel from competing effectively for public sector contracts.

The new sustainable procurement duty means that authorities should consider how economic, social and environmental wellbeing impacts within their area when planning procurements. Within that duty it will be appropriate to consider the contribution that can be made by strategically significant industrial sectors, for example steel and other manufacturing.

Our capital projects offer an important opportunity for applying the Sustainable Procurement Duty. Public bodies undertaking capital projects will want to consider a range of existing economic development strategies, including the Manufacturing Action Plan. Such a strategic approach to procurement can help secure benefits for communities and Scotland as a whole.

The guidance

The guidance, which is published on our website provides practical guidance on how to incorporate social issues in projects with a significant steel composition.

When considering social objectives relevant to projects where steel is a key part, contracting authorities should aim to achieve a number of key outcomes, including:

  • ensuring that the costs and benefits assessment in the Business Case fully addresses any wider economic issues arising from the project
  • ensuring that the steel is being produced in a responsible and sustainable way
  • ensuring that there is strong supply chain management capability at Tier 1 level. Where there are key subcontractors providing key parts of the project, the contracting authority should require good, secure supply chains and performance management throughout the contract period
  • ensuring that only suppliers that comply with relevant social and labour laws, and health and safety legislation, as appropriate, are contracted with. In relation to steel, the relevant legislation is likely to be the law of the country where the manufacturing/fabrication of the steel is taking place or the country where the employees are working


Public bodies are required to implement this guidance, where they are responsible for infrastructure and construction projects that will have a significant steel composition.


1. Please bring this SPPN to the attention of all relevant staff within your field of responsibility to whom it may be of interest.


2. Any enquiries in relation to this guidance should be addressed to Scottish Procurement:


Any enquiries relating to this SPPN should be addressed to Scottish Procurement:

Scottish Procurement
The Scottish Government
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

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