Select Committee on Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence

Annex C



  The TBG first met in October 1999 and has met five times since then. A summary of its remit and activities follows:


  The Timber Buyers Group is BG an inter-departmental group reporting to the Cabinet Sub Committee of Green Ministers ENV(G). The TBG's remit prior to July 2000 was to exchange information; after that date it was to:

    —  assist Government bodies in working with timber suppliers and producers;

    —  give advice on best purchasing practice;

    —  set progressive overall targets for government timber purchases from assured sustainable and legal sources;

    —  agree appropriate targets for individual departments and agencies.

    —  monitor progress;

    —  report on progress to ENV(G).

Summary of Issues Discussed at Meetings

  1.  7 October 1999

    —  UK Government procurement policy and EC Directives.

    —  Role of the Office for Government Commerce.

    —  Timber procurement in DETR.

    —  Experience of other Government Departments—including difficulties experienced in sourcing timber from sustainably managed forests.

    —  Next steps—production of guidance and data collection.

  2.  27 July 2000

  Combined meeting with NGOs and the trade:

    —  Public procurement regulations and international treaty obligations.

    —  Involving Departments' associated bodies.

    —  Evidence of SFM, including the FSC scheme.

    —  Promoting use of reclaimed and recycled timber.

    —  Illegally harvested timber.

    —  Problems in dealing with public sector purchasing organisations.

    —  Problems encountered by the public sector.

    —  Next steps—including an offer by WWF to help Departments source wood from legal and sustainably managed sources.

  3.  24 October 2000

    —  Revised TBG terms of reference.

    —  Timber policy—implications of making it mandatory.

    —  Annual reporting by Departments.

    —  Monitoring by the TBG and Green Ministers.

    —  Targets.

    —  Help for buyers.

    —  Draft model specification.

  4.  30 March 2001

    —  Report on progress.

    —  Proposed Timber Scoping Study.

    —  Reporting arrangements.

    —  Developing targets.

    —  Briefing on the revised Green Guide for Buyers.

  5.  18 October 2001

    —  Bids for Scoping Study.

    —  Responses to Green Ministers' Report Questionnaire.

    —  Pilot project to collaborate with WWF.

    —  Avdisory Committee on Consumer Products feedback.

  6.  7 February 2002

    —  Consideration of Consultants report on tasks 1 to 3 of Phase 1 of the timber scoping study.

    —  Stakeholder involvement—planning the consultation exercise and meeting for NGOs, trade and other interested parties.

    —  Targets for departments.

    —  Model clauses.

    —  Training and workshops.

    —  EU initiative.


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