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Crossrail bidders must highlight UK role

Contenders for £1bn contract must state which part of their bid is made in Britain – but the government says the information will not be used to decide who wins the deal

Contenders for the £1bn Crossrail train contract have to state which part of their bid is made in the UK but it will not influence the deal, the government has said. Bombardier, which runs Britain’s last train factory in Derby, has pinned hopes for its survival on the Crossrail deal but the tender document does not have a “made in Britain” clause. The four shortlisted bidders will be asked to specify sourcing for each part of the contract to highlight what proportion of the project will be made in the UK. Ministers are barred by European Union regulations from showing bias towards domestic bids.

The transport secretary, Justine Greening, said the government and the London mayor, Boris Johnson, wanted to “communicate” the benefits of the contract to the UK. “Bidders are being asked, in the Invitation to Negotiate, to specify from where each element of the contract will be sourced. This is not an assessment criterion in the decision process however the successful bidder will be required to report against their proposed estimates.”

One of the four shortlisted bidders, Siemens of Germany, warned this week that displaying any favouritism towards UK bidders would have damaging consequences for British business. Declaring a new type of procurement process that would reflect methods use in France and Germany, the government said the tender process will include requirements for “responsible procurement.” Bidders will have to set out opportunities for training, apprenticeships and small and medium sized businesses while establishing an “appropriate local presence to manage the delivery of the contract.” A source familiar with the process acknowledged that the training, apprenticeships and boost to smaller business could apply to a continental business as much as a UK player. Siemens, which beat Bombardier to the £1.4bn Thameslink contract and triggered a furore over the future of train building in the UK, has said it will build the Crossrail vehicles in Germany if it wins. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds