Sellafield Ltd has worked closely with its partners in the stakeholder community to devise a new supply chain framework agreement, which will change the way the company engages on its procurement activities.
Under the framework agreement local stakeholders, like Copeland Borough and Cumbria County Councils, will be more engaged in major procurement at Sellafield through an ongoing programme of meetings.
The move is aimed at helping the community see more socioeconomic benefit from the money Sellafield Ltd spends in the supply chain while allowing Sellafield Ltd to move ahead with its new acquisition strategy and meet its commitment to get best value for the UK tax payer.
Nuclear Management Partners’ Managing Director for Sellafield Ltd, Dr Todd Wright, said; “We are changing the way we acquire goods and services across Sellafield Ltd.
“Having made a firm commitment that we would work with local authorities to better understand their aspirations and concerns surrounding our procurement activities, we held a number of meetings and workshops to explain our new acquisition strategy and stakeholders have subsequently been able to work with us and feed into it. It was important that we were able to work together for a better outcome. The programme has been successful so far and it will continue.”
Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member responsible for nuclear issues, Tim Knowles, said: “Sellafield is one of the major employers in the county and it spends billions of pounds on procuring goods and services. I have raised concerns in the past that the best overall value was not being achieved for the UK taxpayer in Sellafield’s procurement methods.
“I have been concerned that too much money was being diverted out of Cumbria and into the hands of major multinationals with negligible benefit to the local supply chain.
“Therefore I am very pleased that Sellafield has agreed to work with local authorities to ensure the procurement process is fair, legal and achieves maximum value.
“Sellafield cannot simply favour local companies over the competition – that would be illegal and unfair – but it can ensure that local small and medium sized enterprises get the right access to public procurement contracts.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but we will fight Cumbria’s corner and ensure that local suppliers have a chance of winning some of the many billions of pounds worth of business being generated by Sellafield’s framework contracts.”
Copeland Borough Council Leader Elaine Woodburn said: “We were approached by some members of the supply chain who had some concerns – but we have spoken to Sellafield Ltd and they been open and proactive in dealing with those concerns.
“A strong supply chain is essential for the future economic growth of West Cumbria and we will continue to work with Sellafield Ltd to ensure that the local area does as well as it can out of the money that is spent here; while at the same time recognising the fact that they have to deliver value for money.
“What is reassuring is that they have given us a commitment that the engagement we’ve started will continue – we welcome that opportunity and I look forward to working with Sellafield Ltd on an ongoing basis.”
Allerdale Borough Council will also be invited to take part in the framework going forward.