Timber Sales Governance Standard v8 TSGS8


Timber Sales Governance Standards v8.0

(NRW policy for Timber Sales activity)

The Timber Sales Governance Standards, along with the associated guidance and instructions, sets out the policies and procedures which form a structured, pre-approved framework for the sale of timber from the Welsh Government Woodland Estate. Any departure from these standards to accommodate administrative or commercial needs must be pre-approved by the Head of Sustainable Commercial Development.

The latest version of these Standards must always be referenced, and they are subject to a formal change process to incorporate efficiencies, new/revised legislation, regulation and policy decisions, and improved ways of working. A comprehensive review of these Standards will be conducted at a minimum of every two years.





Version: 8.0 Issued: 4.7.23

Owner:         Head of Sustainable Commercial Development




Term / Abbreviation Meaning
3Ps People, Planet, Prosperity – metrics set that measure the overall ‘Value’ of benefits achieved within a commercial contract or sale.
ATS Alternative Timber Sales (methods of sale)
BST Business Support Team
BSTL Business Support Team Leader
CCC Communications, Customer and Commercial Directorate of NRW
CF Clear Felling
CM Contract Manager
COI Conflict of Interest (declaration)
CVR Contract Variation Request
Direct Award The TSS/eSales administrative method of making a contract with one customer
DP Direct Production
DRN Dispatch Record Note (or Number)
eFIDS & eFIDS Lite Electronic Forest Industry Data Standard. The GB standard for coding dispatch and self-bill data. eFIDS Lite does not support self-billing
eSales The third-party online system to accept bids for lots presented for sale
FRP Forest Resource Plan
HSCD Head of Sustainable Commercial Development
HSQ Health & Safety Questionnaire
Market value The price that an interested purchaser is willing to pay at the time, for a specific lot presented for sale. Market value reflects all aspects that are relevant to the price, such as the customer’s capacity and capability, time frame, crop type, product values, quantities, constraints and location
NNR National Nature Reserve


PCM Pre-Commencement Meeting
PSC Progressive Sales Contract (a multi-annual sales agreement)
RS Roadside Sale
RTE Retained Timber Element
SAL Sale Approval Letter
SAR Sale-Results Authorisation Report
SIR Serious Incident Review
SMNR Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
SS Standing Sale
SSC Site Specific Conditions (additional to standard sales contract T&Cs)
STA Single Tender Approval. Authorisation process for standalone contracts agreed with one customer whether for a new sale or for administrative action. (Not to be confused with similar terminology used in a procurement exercise)
T&Cs Terms and Conditions. There are separate contract T&Cs for RS and SS contracts. There are also eSales T&Cs which apply to the use of eSales to make Bids
TFS Transactional Finance Services
TH Thinning
Timber sales teams The Timber Sales Team (TST) together with the Business Support Team (BST)
TSGS Timber Sales & Governance Standards (this document)
TSMM Timber Sales & Marketing Manager
TSS Timber Sales System, based on Microsoft Customer Relationship Management software
TSTL Timber Sales Team Leader
TST Timber Sales Team
TSQ / TSQF Timber Sales Qualification Form
WG / WGWE Welsh Government / Welsh Government Woodland Estate


1.                               Introduction and context


1.1 Overview

  1. NRW’s objectives and approach to timber sales are set out in the published Timber Sales & Marketing Plan. This sets out NRW’s rationale for selling timber, and a high annual level programme for presenting timber for sale to the open market.
  2. NRW’s aim is to present timber to the market in a fair, open, competitive and transparent way. NRW does not seek to distort or influence the market. NRW will hold at least four sealed-bid online auctions spaced throughout each year to obtain best value for NRW by competition. Interim sale events may also be held at the TSMM’s discretion, as well as negotiated sales in accordance with this TSGS.
  3. The corporate delivery measure for the timber sales function is the standing volume of timber (m3) presented to the market for sale. However, the timber sale programme is not driven by prices or income targets. The coupes and the harvesting programme are determined by the forest management interventions needed for the delivery of the Forest Resource Plans, and in accordance with the SMNR principles.
  4. Land Stewardship is responsible for setting the annual timber harvesting programme from the WGWE in accordance with the Timber Sales & Marketing Plan. Once set, the programme becomes an NRW corporate commitment and is a fixed target for Place teams to deliver against.
  5. Forest operations teams decide the overall harvesting programme each year. They present their coupes in TSS to the sales team along with the site and contract documentation for one of the four eSales events each year. The Executive Director of Operations signs off the proposed harvesting programme.
  6. The TST is responsible for the sale of the annual timber harvesting programme from the WGWE in accordance with these standards, processes, approvals and NRW’s governance rules. The TST will also monitor and report on the delivery of the annual sales programme.
  7. Where electronic signatures are specified in this standard NRW must use software that provides security and validation (Currently timber sales uses DocuSign®).
  8. BST and TST will enable the reporting of performance data to the business, for scrutiny and action by Forest Ops teams, Business Groups and audit.


1.2 Purpose

  1. To provide clear policy and procedural guidance on the management of timber sales practice and ensure that the timber sales teams and forest operations teams understand and apply the policies and procedures applicable to timber sales.
  2. To form a framework for NRW staff to manage contracts from coupe creation to contract completion, including these business-critical areas:
  • Planning a
  • Sale procedures, decisions and
  • Policies and procedures for setting, managing and varying the principal contract terms, including:
    • Quantity
    • Period
    • Price

3. To set out responsibilities for the conduct of a timber sale in line with these high-level principles:

  • The forest operations teams plan and prepare the sale parcels (lots) and manage the operational aspects of live sale contracts.
  • The Executive Director of Operations confirms that the timber and the staff resources are
  • The TST presents the lots for sale and recommends the sale outcome for each
  • The Executive Director of CCC approves the sale outcome for each
  • The BST provides the agreed procedural and technical support to the TST and the forest operations teams in respect of timber sales and sales contracts.


1.3 Law and policy references

  1. NRW will comply with all applicable law and will conform to the spirit of any relevant codes of practice or good practice guidelines.
  2. The Welsh Government Woodland Estate is owned by the Welsh Ministers and NRW manages it on their behalf pursuant to 3 of the Forestry Act 1967. The WGWE is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and is independently audited under the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (“UKWAS”) verifying that it is sustainably managed. Retaining these certifications and managing the WGWE for the benefit of the Welsh public are top priorities for NRW.
  3. The sale of timber plays an important part in the management of the WGWE, and also contributes significantly to the Welsh economy. As a result, the sale of timber grown on the WGWE will always be conducted fairly and in an open and transparent way and will be governed in accordance with the policies and procedures in this document, and with reference to the relevant provisions in the following:
    • Managing Welsh Public Money (WG)
    • Managing our Money (MoM) (NRW)
    • Counter Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy
    • General Data Protection Regulation Policy
    • Natural Resources Wales / Modern slavery statement 2022-23
    • Commercial confidentiality
    • Timber Sales and Marketing Plan 2021 – 2026
    • Land Service Plan 2018-2023
    • UKWAS (NRW Environmental Policy Statement)
    • Timber Sales & Marketing Guidance

 Subsidy control

4.The sale of timber at market value does not constitute financial assistance or a subsidy. A particular customer’s receipt of any subsidy for another purpose at the time they purchase timber at market rate, is not a relevant factor in the decision to sell that timber.


1.4 Assurance

  1. The application of these Governance Standards will be monitored through the Sustainable Commercial Development’s Internal Control Environment (ICE), which provides the HSCD with confidence that Commercial teams are delivering to expectations. It will also provide the TSMM with the same level of confidence, as well as an ability to support refinements to process and procedure by identifying gaps and errors in compliance.
  2. The ICE framework has been designed on the three lines model of control, where the Timber sales teams provide the first line, the Commercial Performance team provide the second, and NRW’s Internal Audit provide the third. Reporting through PowerBI provides regular monitoring of control activities.


1.5 Scope of timber sales

  1. The removal of timber from the WGWE and NRW-managed NNRs may be proposed and prepared by any part of NRW in exercise of its functions, for example to meet a commercial development agreement where saleable trees must be removed by the developer. Although such other projects involving the sale of trees are not within the scope of this TSGS, the proposer of the project must inform the TST of the proposed sale of the trees, and the TST will undertake a valuation in accordance with section 2 Valuations. Otherwise, this TSGS document governs only the routine timber sales where the contracts are formed, sold, approved and managed by Place Teams and TSTs in accordance with the standard T&Cs for timber sales.
  2. A timber sale may include any part of a tree, standing or felled (including timber, bark, foliage, stumps, tops and branch wood).
  3. Where the disposal of saleable timber crop is intended to form part of another NRW agreement (for example tree clearance required for a commercial project), then the TST must be consulted on the valuation of the timber to be disposed of to ensure market rates are applied. The TST will value the timber in accordance with this TSGS.
  4. The timber sale process outlined in this document may not be used to dispose of any other asset, for example land, property or equipment.
  5. The timber sale process outlined in this document may not be used as a way to obtain services (e.g. new civil engineering works, ground preparation or replanting) which must be obtained via an appropriate procurement process.
  6. Temporary works undertaken by the customer for the purposes of, and incidental to the customer’s carrying out of its obligations under the contract (including for harvesting, water management or health & safety purposes – such as the formation of stoned or unstoned safe spaces for welfare and vehicles, temporary ramps, forwarder tracks, inverted-stump tracks, road scraping, snow removal, stacking benches, drain crossings etc.) are not considered to be services. In addition, most forest crops will have a degree of unprofitable element or a loss-making component within the harvested timber. Working these as part of the whole lot is not considered to be a service.


1.6 Sale terminology and context

  1. Sales processes are different from procurement processes but often use similar terms, even though the commercial transaction is income oriented, and the inherent risk is very This can create untoward concern and misunderstandings if not clarified. The terms used in this document are intended to be defined, read and interpreted in the context of a commercial sale, and not in the context of a procurement exercise as governed by The Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Some key terms are set out in a sale context here:
  • The open and competitive online sale is run as a ‘sealed-bid auction with reserve
  • A restricted sale is where not all customers are eligible to bid (such as a PSC, a negotiated sale or a Direct Award in TSS). Only the eligible customer or group of customers is invited to bid.
  • NRW presents timber to the market for sale in one or more lots.
  • This is an invitation to treat (as in ‘treaty’ e. to make a contract of sale).
  • NRW sets a reserve price to establish its own estimate of financial net value for each lot. The reserve sale price is only an estimate as it does not include opportunity costs, or the consequential costs of programme delays arising from a particular decision to not sell a lot.
  • Customers tender their offers for the These offers are commonly called bids.
  • NRW considers all the eligible bids for each lot, and decides which bid represents best value for NRW
  • The highest bid over reserve, if eligible, is normally deemed to represent best value.
  • In some circumstances an underbid (a bid other than the highest bid) or a bid below reserve might represent best value for NRW (see 11 Consideration of underbids)
  • A sale agreed with a single customer outside a competitive bidding process is a negotiated sale. The contract must be authorised using the STA procedure.
  • Direct Award is the process and method of forming an auditable sale contract in TSS with one It is used to manage aspects of sales and contract processes such as negotiated sales, re-bidding and contract price variations, and should not be confused with the same terminology used in a procurement exercise

2. The procedures governing the timber sales function and the consequent sales contracts are complex. Wherever a specific responsibility is mentioned, it will often relate to a team rather than an individual. This permits the team to develop resilience and flexibility to manage the                many commercial transactions required every working day. It is for the Team Leader and the Manager to delegate a team responsibility to a team member or members.


1.7 Sale methods

  1. Wherever possible, NRW will use the eSales platform and TSS to manage or confirm all routine sales of timber from the eSales is a third-party service which provides a high degree of separation between the customers’ bidding and NRW’s staff to provide assurance that the bidding process is confidential, honest and equitable. The sales governance provisions, processes and TSS are aligned to the eSales platform, and its use provides assurance that agreed processes are in place to properly govern every sale.
  2. The sale methods supported by TSS and eSales are:
    • Open Competitive Sales
    • Restricted Tenders
    • Negotiated Sales (by Direct Award)
    • PSCs (A competitive tender to win annually negotiated contracts issued by Direct Award)
  3. If another sale format is required at any time (for example Sale by volume, End product sales, and Area sales) which is not suitable for delivery by eSales or TSS then the HSCD may approve the use of that sale format only if provisions are made to deliver an appropriate degree of transparency, separation, governance, confidentiality and control similar to that provided by eSales and TSS. The use of such sale formats will need to be properly scrutinised to ensure they provide strong purpose and value to the WGWE and NRW.
  4. NRW may sell up to 30% of the timber put up for sale each year through Alternative Timber Sale methods. The governance and process arrangements for different ATS methods are set out in separate guidance, and at the time of publication, are subject to approval for use.


1.8 Customer eligibility

  1. eSales is an open and accessible platform, so any registered user of eSales may place a bid on a lot. In placing a bid, they agree to abide by the terms and conditions of using eSales. NRW will only consider bids from eligible customers, as defined in this section.
  2. Any person or legal entity is an eligible customer if, prior to any Sale, it meets the following requirements:
    • It is acting in the course of a business, charity, trade, or profession (or properly constituted Community body). Timber sales are currently not available to individuals acting in their capacity as consumers.
    • Prior to a Sale, it has submitted to NRW a completed Timber Sales Qualification Form (“TSQF”), it has updated the TSQF when circumstances change, and NRW considers the contents of the TSQF
    • Prior to a Sale, it has submitted a completed Health & Safety Questionnaire (“HSQ”), it has updated the HSQ when circumstances change, and NRW considers the contents of the HSQ acceptable.
    • It has notified NRW of any potential conflict of interest and NRW is satisfied that the risk of conflict can be appropriately managed and the participation of the bidder will not have a material impact on the sale of any particular lot in the event.
    • It is not otherwise suspended or excluded from bidding by
  3. NRW may exclude some or all bids from a bidder if:
    • anything in that bidder’s TSQF or HSQ is found to be incorrect or misleading;
    • the bidder has materially or persistently breached, and not remedied, its existing sales contract terms, and NRW chooses to exercise its rights under the contract T&Cs to prevent that customer from participating in further sales events;
    • the bidder has had one or more sales contract terminated due to their fault or omission;
    • NRW has received information that the bidder has been found guilty of non-payment of taxes or national insurance and social security contributions;
    • the bidder has a bidding limit, in accordance with section 5. 4 Bidding Limits of this TSGS.
  4. NRW may exclude bids from a potential customer at any time, up to the point just before agreeing a contract with that customer. The TSTL will endeavour to inform the affected bidder of the decision to exclude them prior to the sales event if possible, or otherwise as soon as reasonably practicable.
  5. Any decision to exclude bids on eligibility or other grounds will be documented in the DMS sale folder and highlighted in the Sales Results Authorisation Report.

1.9 Customer credit & payment terms

  1. Also see section 7 Customer risks.
  2. Payment terms are stated as 30 days from the date of invoice however to accommodate self-billing customers, the payment terms are generally 30 days from the end of the month in which the dispatch took place. All payment terms are managed by TFS and changes to that would require commensurate changes to the sale T&Cs


1.10 Conflicts of Interest

  1. In line with NRW’s corporate Conflict of Interest policy, all staff must take appropriate measures to prevent, identify and remedy any conflicts of interest in the sale process.
  2. The governance arrangements for eSales events create a limited group of NRW staff who could be perceived to be able to influence the outcome of a sale. That group includes:
    • members of the Sales Team, BST and management involved in creating, accessing or using the lot valuations prior to the sale event closing;
    • Commercial Performance Team member who completes 2nd line checks on valuations;
    • all members and observers of the Sale Panel for each sale event;
    • Executive Director of Operations (to authorise use of resources and confirm capacity);
    • Executive Director of CCC (to approve the sale results);
    • Head of Sustainable Commercial Development;
    • a substitute who is not already in the above group, for whom a formal Transfer of Responsibilities (ToR) has been signed and recorded.
  3. The members of the above group must complete a COI declaration before the first planned sale event each financial year. The COI form must list the dates of all the planned sale events that the declaration will apply
  4. Any new, replacement or temporary member of the above group during the year, must complete a COI declaration for the relevant sale event(s). This will also apply to any other NRW member given access to sale information as a result of implementing contingency arrangements for system failures.
  5. In the case of a negotiated sale, a sale-specific COI declaration must be completed by every staff member involved in the valuation, approval, negotiation, sale decision and contract signing.
  6. Where staff have declared a conflict or potential conflict, in line with NRW’s corporate Conflict of Interest policy, their Line Manager must show that the conflict has been managed appropriately to minimise the risk of unfair influence over a sale, and any actions taken must be recorded on the COI form.
  7. Anyone declaring a conflict of interest in a sale event which cannot be managed appropriately, must not be involved further in that sale Any preparation done or decisions taken by that person for the sale event will be reviewed and signed off by Sales Team Leader (referring any issues to the TSMM) before that person’s work can be used in the sale.
  8. Completed COI forms must be filed by BST in the DMS sales folder for the relevant


9.Forest Operations staff or contractors involved in the planning, measurement and development of lots for sale have no influence over the TST valuation or BST sale processes and therefore need not complete a COI declaration form specifically for sales events. All staff must still      complete the annual declaration of interest as required by NRW.

10.Customers are not required to submit conflict of interest declarations. The T&Cs for using eSales include a warranty that the customer has no conflict of interest, or has declared any known conflict to NRW. During the sale meeting, the Sale panel will review any customer declared conflicts and will assess the mitigation measures put in place to decide whether to accept a bid or to request further information. If the latter, the pending award procedure outlined in section 5.8 Bid assessment will be followed.

1.11 Welsh Language

  1. As an organisation, NRW is committed to the Welsh Language Standards set out in the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.
  2. In our general communications with members of the public, customers and prospective customers, we will not treat Welsh any less favourably than Adverts for upcoming sales events and NRW’s newsletter relating to timber sales are published bilingually. If correspondence is received in Welsh, we will respond in Welsh without it leading to a delay.
  3. Eligibility questionnaires, lot information, sales maps, contractual terms and conditions, and the eSales portal itself, are currently only published in English. This is because of their technical and specialist nature and because they are only available to those who have registered on eSales, not to the general public.
  4. Where communications with members of the public are necessary as part of planning a sale or managing a contract, these will be handled in accordance with NRW’s Welsh Language Policy. We will liaise with customers to ensure that any site signage, notices or other printed information aimed at members of the public (both permanent and temporary) are bilingual.


2.           Sale Planning

2.1 Principles

  1. NRW will seek to achieve the best value for NRW from any sale of timber by aiming to maximise income, while delivering the objectives set out in the relevant FRP, applying the principles of SMNR, managing Customer Risk, and reducing operational costs.
  2. Any timber from the WGWE or NRW-managed NNRs intended for sale under the standard timber Sales T&Cs, or terms specific to ATS, must go through the TST and the approval processes before sale. Timber sales in connection with Commercial Development must use specific template sales terms and will be managed jointly between the Commercial Development team and the relevant local forestry operations
  3. NRW will treat customers with equality, avoid any form of discrimination and act in a professional, fair and transparent manner in their dealings with them or any of their employees or agents.
  4. NRW will not design a coupe, prepare a lot, or specify timber products or conditions of sale with the intention of favouring or disadvantaging any customer.
  5. NRW will give every eligible customer the same opportunity to make an offer for a lot presented for sale in open competition.


2.2 Harvesting and sales programmes

  1. Land Stewardship is responsible for setting the annual timber harvesting programme from the WGWE to support the commitments outlined in the Timber Sales & Marketing Once set, the harvesting programme is the basis for the sales plan, and becomes an NRW corporate commitment. As such the harvesting programme is a fixed target for Place Teams to deliver against, through regular monitoring and taking in-year corrective action as required.
  2. Place Teams will design their annual harvesting programmes to allocate coupes to each sale year that will bring forward a relatively consistent offer year on year, seeking a balance of gross factors such as:
    • redwood and whitewood crops;
    • timber products (for instance log, bar and chipwood);
    • clearfell / thinning operations;
    • harvester-forwarder / cable
  3.  Land Stewardship will provide the TSMM and the TSTL with the following year’s harvesting programme at a coupe level of detail by the end of October each year. The TSMM will announce the forward Sales Plan to customers and stakeholders during November each year.
  4. Operational issues reducing the harvesting programme in-year will be mitigated within or between Place Teams, by bringing additional coupes of a similar type and size to maintain the programme.
  5. The TST will monitor and report on the in-year delivery of the annual sales programme for corporate and business planning purposes to CCC ET and LT.


2.3 Roadside sales

  1. Forest Operations will, according to their resources, decide whether to use DP or SS or a combination, and will resource that decision, including the site facilities and access, to meet the contractual commitments in a timely manner, made to the customer on sale of the crop or products by the TST.
  2. The Place Team will be responsible for co-ordinating the production from DP harvesting operations with the sales timetable and the CM will plan to offer RS sales contracts with appropriate Commencement Dates and contract periods so that as far as possible, freshly cut material is presented in good time for it to be dispatched by the RS customer during the contract period.
  3. In keeping with the principles of SMNR, value for money and the timber ‘hierarchy of use’ to increase longer- term carbon storage, harvesting operations will maximise the production of sawlog products wherever possible and will prefer bar and outsize log specifications over chipwood. Similarly, wood fuel products will preferably come from dead material or considerably aged roadside stock.
  4. The Place Team will be responsible for estimating the products and quantities to be sold from a coupe and for specifying the RS sale contract details accordingly. The CM will set the lot quantities for each product to complement the scale of the coupe and rate of production. Timber Sales Team will advise Place Team on request, over lotting of RS contracts to achieve best value in current market conditions.
  5. Generally, a RS contract for a specified product will be supplied from one specified coupe, and the contract will be for all the product from that coupe.
  6. Roadside lots will ideally contain only fresh, standard forest product grades and sizes familiar to customers and widely used by the industry. Generally, roadside contracts should be in place before trees are harvested to give customers the opportunity to determine the product specification (length, minimum top diameter, etc.), within advertised tolerances. Occasionally cutting products to stock may be necessary where there are time pressures.


2.4 Lotting

  1. The Place Team will determine each lot on the basis of the coupes in the FRP and the harvesting Each SS coupe is generally sold as one lot, and may include CF and TH elements, unless the coupe is deliberately divided up by the Place Team to more effectively manage operational budgets and programmes.
  2. NRW will seek to offer lots in a range of quantities, products, and work types throughout the year to offer the widest opportunity for each customer as primary bidder or as a secondary buyer. The TST will review the lots offered by Place Teams and consider whether the specification could inappropriately exclude particular customers from bidding.


2.5 Negotiated Sales

  1. As outlined in section 1.1 Overview, the default approach to selling WGWE timber will be through fair, open, competitive and transparent auctions. However, there will be certain circumstances which will require the sale of WGWE timber through direct methods – a negotiated sale. Negotiated sales may be considered where one or more of the following circumstances apply, or in any other situation where a negotiated sale is pre- approved by the HSCD:
    • a) To comply with an urgent legal direction or requirement to remove saleable trees.
    • b) To deal with an immediate priority where the swift removal of saleable trees will deal with landowner liabilities or reduce risk to NRW or the public (e.g. tree safety, landslides, acute diseases or storm damage).
    • c) To implement wide-scale harvesting programme adjustments in response to catastrophic storm
    • d) To market a lot that has been presented for sale in open competition, but which has not attracted bids or an acceptable market price, and it is preventing delivery of an environmental project or forest resource plan priority, or the site requires complex, intermittent, time consuming or specialist tree removal techniques, or NRW does not have the resource to undertake the work directly.
    • e) To agree prices for the second and subsequent years of a PSC.
  2. The TST will, with the CM, prepare an internal narrative that explains the circumstances, operational needs, opportunity costs and benefits of a negotiated sale. Where applicable it will explain why a restricted or open sale is not appropriate, and also how the customer has been selected for the negotiation, referencing the factors at sections 8 Customer eligibility and 5.7 Customer risks. The TST will prepare a valuation in accordance with section 4.2 Valuations. The narrative will include the valuation figures and a negotiation plan illustrating the potential value that may be acceptable to NRW in order to achieve the best value.
  3. The TSTL or the TSMM will use these documents to seek authority from the HSCD to use an STA and proceed with the negotiated If authority is given, the STA process will be followed (2.6 STA Procedure).
  4. The customer must be given the full sales information for the proposed contract if they do not already have it, and be allowed time to visit the site if necessary. The TST will arrange a face to face meeting for the negotiation. This may be by video-conference if A discussion of the relevant costs and values for the site and lot should seek to conclude with a suitable market value price from the customer. The customer must confirm this by email.
  5. The TST must not ‘accept’ the bid as it will still be subject to STA approval by the HSCD. Once all is agreed and authorised the new contract can be issued by Direct Award. All related documents and approvals must be saved on DMS as a record of the sale.


2.6 STA Procedure

  1. The STA procedure is an authorisation method that records the reasons and decision to form a stand-alone timber sale contract with one Its use must be prior-approved by the HSCD, who will then also sign the STA form when it is completed by the Place Team and TST.
  2. New negotiated sales contracts (see 5 Negotiated Sales) will require an STA approval, unless the negotiation is only to improve a bid below reserve during an eSales event (see 5.9 Improving bids). The contract price must be negotiated with the customer by the TST only, on a without prejudice basis, so that the proposed financial value of the contract can be included in the STA form.
  3. The STA form must be signed by the HSCD to authorise the use of an STA, and by the approver at the required MoM level for a timber sales STA (these are lower than the normal MoM levels for timber sales). Where the MoM approver would also be the HSCD, then MoM approval will be raised to the Executive Director of CCC.
  4. Approval of the STA form must take place before the sale contract is formed with the customer, which is done using the Direct Award process in TSS and eSales.
  5. An STA is NOT required to approve an extension of a contract XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX . The CVR process will be used for this.


3.                               Sale Contract Preparation

3.1 Contract Period

  1. The timber sale contract period is set by the CM during preparation of the lot details and reviewed by the TST before a sale is The following considerations must be taken into account when setting the contract period:
    • a) it must be long enough to comfortably accommodate the entirety of the activities required to perform the contract, including pre-planning, harvesting, dispatch and any site restoration, all within a safe and reasonable timescale;
    • b) it must take account of any other known time constraints affecting the activities, site access and dispatches, such as wildlife, season, weather, water quality and any planned third-party requirements for the access routes or site itself;
    • c) a buffer of up to 2 months may be added to allow for an overrun in the time taken for the contract
  2. Contract start dates and expiry dates must fall on working days, so should avoid weekends and bank holidays. It is also preferable that contract expiry dates do not fall on Mondays or Fridays.

3.2 Commencement Date & Start Date

Commencement Date

  1. The contract Commencement Date is the date of signature by both NRW and the customer, and is the date from which the sale contract T&Cs apply
  2. An electronically signed contract must be received from the customer before any work can take place. The contract will be made ‘live’ in TSS once the contract has been signed by NRW, in accordance with MoM.

Start Date

  • 3. The start date is set by the CM when the contract is created in TSS and BST use this date as a gateway to control customer access to the site for safety, timber security and governance purposes.
  • 4. The CM may set the start date to suit the operational situation. The start date must be reasonable and achievable by both parties and should not be less than 4 weeks, or more than 4 months, after the sale event
  • 5. If the CM agrees that all necessary pre-commencement planning is suitable and sufficient and there is a fully signed contract in place, then the customer can start work (including moving equipment onto site) on or after the start date written in the contract.
  • 6. The start date may be brought forward after sale by agreement between the CM and customer, using the CVR process. A CVR is not required if the work is to start after the Start Date.


3.3 Site Specific Conditions (SSC)

  1. NRW’s standard sales contract document and terms and conditions must be used and may not be amended. It is a matter of fairness and equity that all SSCs are presented to a consistent form and standard as determined by the template. These templates are held in TSS.
  2. NRW will not include additional terms and conditions that confuse the standard T&Cs or are potentially unfair, ambiguous or unrelated to the activities required to perform the sale contract.
  3. The sales contract schedules specified in the contract templates must be completed. This includes the SSCs. Both RS and SS SSCs have templates held in TSS and these must be completed by the CMs as appropriate to accurately reflect the individual site requirements and constraints for the sale contract.
  4. SSCs form a significant part of the sales contract and are often key to the customer’s costing and bid prices, so accurate and complete SSCs must be prepared before the lot is presented for sale. TST will check that the sales documents for each contract have been prepared by the CM before taking any lot forward for sale.
  5. Where the work on the site lends itself to the use of a bespoke key performance measure (i.e., an essential site outcome that is not specific to industry good practice, FISA guides or UKWAS measures) this should be included in the general SSC section of the template. Where further assurance on such inclusions is deemed necessary, the TSTL will ask Legal Services for advice.


3.4 Retained timber element (RTE)

  1. RTE is a contract mechanism for NRW to retain some of the production from a SS contract. It is placed at roadside by the customer for NRW to sell to another customer or used to meet other contract commitments for supply. The contract price for the timber accommodates the RTE production and is governed by the standard contract T&Cs.
  2. Valuations must accommodate proportionally greater working costs to cover the cost of producing the RTE.
  3. RTE must be fully specified in the sale details prior to a sales event. RTE may not be applied to an existing contract and may not be proposed for a new contract without prior authority from the HSCD.
  4. In making a decision on whether to authorise RTE, the HSCD will take account of the following constraints:
  •           a) the proposed RTE element must be an integral part of the SS harvesting. If the RTE element can be obtained separately from the SS harvesting, it should be procured as a service or sold separately under its own sales contract;
  •           b) the RTE that can be included in any sale contract is limited to one product specification;
  •           c) the RTE quantity XXXXXXXXXXXXX  of the estimated contract quantity offered for sale;
  •           d) the valuation of the RTE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

5. The Sale Panel will always request the TST to clarify the bid with the customer before making a sale recommendation, in order to ensure the customer is aware of the RTE element. If RTE was misunderstood when bidding and is not acceptable to the highest bidder or any underbidder, they may choose to withdraw their bid, and the lot will be marked as unsold. The lot may be offered for open competitive sale again without RTE at the next opportunity or marketed under the provisions in section 2.5 Negotiated Sales.


4.                               Sale event preparation

4.1 Sale Approval Letter

  1. Before each quarterly sale event is published online, the TSMM will prepare a SAL to seek written authority from the Executive Director of Operations to proceed. Approval is to confirm that the sale is essential to NRW’s land management programmes, that the timber can be sold and that the consequent contract management can be resourced by Place Approval must be provided through the signing of the SAL by the Executive Director of Operations before the sale event is advertised.
  2. The SAL will summarise the essential information specific to the proposed sale, summarise the sale plan progress by operations teams, and request formal authority to proceed. The signed SAL must be saved in the appropriate DMS folder for the sale event.
  3. The above process applies to the planned, regular eSales events which create significant resource commitments for One-off restricted tenders or individual negotiated sales are to be agreed between TST and Place Teams and approved individually by the HSCD or the TSMM. Such approval correspondence must be filed in the appropriate DMS folder.
  4. The TSMM is responsible for ensuring that approval is obtained from ET / Board for individual contracts with an estimated value of £5 million or more, and that novel, contentious or repercussive sale proposals are referred to the Welsh Government for prior approval.


4.2 Valuations

  1. Lot valuations are considered Commercially Sensitive and must be treated with All valuation data is treated under a ‘need to know only’ principle and must be securely stored in DMS.
  3. The TST will value all timber lots offered for sale using the guidance and  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX The TSTL will be accountable for the valuation process.
  5. All valuations and reserves are to be held in a limited folder in DMS, accessible only by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Access will also be made available to a member of the Commercial Performance team in order to complete second line control checks.


4.3 Reserves



4.4 Lot details, Tariff and T&Cs

  1. When Place Teams prepare the sales contract documents, the information provided by Place Teams about each lot must be accurate and comprehensive as it is the basis for the contract of Due diligence checks will be done by the TSTs and any essential omissions will be corrected before acceptance into the sale catalogue.
  2. Timber sale contracts are made on the basis that the quantity has been estimated using at least a B6 abbreviated tariff Exceptionally the nature of the lot will prevent this (e.g. windblow, brash). In every case where a B6 tariff has not been possible, the SSCs must include a clear description of the method used to estimate the quantity.
  3. The essential lot information provided must include:
    • Crop details or product specification
    • Estimated quantity and relevant measurement information
    • Felling commencement date and end date
    • NRW contact details for the lot
    • Site Specific Conditions (using the template)
    • Location map & legend
    • Standing Sales Operations Map and legend
    • Access map & legend
    • Constraints map & legend
    • Facilities map and legend if appropriate
  4. The standard sale contract T&Cs for RS and SS lots must also be published at the same time. These are held on the NRW intranet and are uploaded to each sale event as a core They also form part of the contract document for each lot and must not be substituted or amended by other documents in the lot details.
  5. The T&Cs are owned and controlled by the HSCD, who will authorise from time to time any updates approved by Legal Services which will be clearly marked with a version number and recorded by BST. The new version will be added to the document set on the intranet, and the contract template in TSS will be updated at an appropriate time so as to allow the contracts for the next eSale to be formed and published. It is good practice to communicate any changes to T&Cs, to customers in good time.


5.                               Sale event

5.1 Sale dates

  1. NRW will hold several main eSales events during the year as presented in the sale timetable (subject to seasonal holidays). The regularity of sales from the public forest resource is a significant commitment to the forest industry and changes to this pattern would require consultation beforehand.
  2. The sale dates are published on the NRW website and eSales and registered eSales users are notified by email when the annual sales timetable is agreed. Efforts are made to avoid other known sale events in England.
  3. The Sale timetable will allow a reasonable period for viewing of lots and bidding in eSales, typically 7 weeks
  4. Place Teams should make the lots accessible for viewing during the sale period, and should include any access restrictions with the lot details.
  5. All significant dates in the sales timetable will be working days, avoiding weekends, bank holidays and significant holidays or celebration days
  6. This does not preclude NRW from holding additional eSales events should resources and business needs require it. In this case, the same processes will be followed, and notice will be given to customers


5.2 Sale catalogue

  1. The catalogue of lots for the sale, and every element of the detailed lot information must be published and notified to every eligible customer at the same time. This is normally done via publishing the sale event in eSales, which notifies every registered user of eSales at the same In the case of a restricted sale, the notification will go to the restricted list of customers.
  2. If any omission or error is identified in the lot details during the viewing period, the TSTL will decide whether to withdraw the lot (in the case of a significant fault that will affect the customers’ costings or reasonable expectations) or issue a clarification (in the case of a minor fault) by posting a notification in eSales. Clarifications must be issued more than 5 working days before the sale closes to bids, otherwise the lot must be withdrawn. Such clarifications must also be discussed with the winning bidder prior to recommending any sale decisions.
  3. Unless unforeseen circumstances or system issues prevent it, the TST will allow between 5 and 7 weeks for customers to view the lots in eSales and to visit them if required, before the sale closes to bids. If 5 weeks is not possible at any time, the TSMM will decide whether or not to move the date that the sale closes to bids. If it is moved, BST will issue a notification via eSales to all bidders as soon as possible.
  4. Progressive Sale Contract sale events (and other ATS that may be developed) could require a longer period prior to bidding if further qualification is also required or the costings are more complex. Conversely, negotiated sales and Sale Notes may need no additional period prior to agreeing the sale. In every case however, the period given must be reasonable and sufficient to allow bidders to view the lots and consider them fully before bidding.


5.3 Bidding rules

  1. Any registered eSales user may make a bid, but only bids from eligible customers will be considered (see 1.8 Customer eligibility).
  2. Bids are only accepted by NRW via the eSales platform (except during a system failure 5.5 eSales ). Where the eSales platform is functioning and there has been no intent stated to accept bids by other means, any bids made verbally or by email or fax for an eSale event will be declared to the Sale Panel if possible, and then discounted.
  3. The eSales T&Cs allow for a single sealed bid from each eligible customer for each lot in the sale. Customers may change or withdraw a bid at any time before the sale closes to bids but are not permitted to do so once the sale closes.
  4. NRW will not accept any proposals for any variation to the standard sale contract T&Cs, or to vary a condition as part of their bid. Where a proposal has been made, the Sale Panel will set the variation or condition aside and will consider the bid only on the price offered. If that customer is also highest bidder for any lot, the TST will clarify with them that the proposed variation to terms has been set aside before making any sale recommendation.
  5. Customers may, and frequently do, act together to support a bid made by one customer. This is normal market practice to improve the overall bid, and reduce each party’s risk of failing to buy material, or buying material they cannot use. NRW has no interest in these external relationships and the sale contract will only ever be made with the customer who makes the bid.


5.4 Bidding Limits

  1. Customers have the choice to set a quantity limit at the time of bidding (bidding limit) to reduce their risk of inadvertently buying too much. In this event, the Sale Panel will consider all the bids for those lots that the customer is highest bidder on and will decide which lots to sell to that customer up to their bidding limit. The highest under-bidder will then be considered for each of the other lots.
  2. The decision of which lots to sell to the highest bidder and which to sell to an underbidder will be based on achieving the highest overall value for NRW from all the lots concerned. This is always subject to any other lower limits that may be applied by NRW.
  3. The TSMM and the TST may set a quantity limit (including a nil limit) to manage the risks of a particular customer buying too much in a particular sale. This decision will be based on the customer’s use of credit, payment record and bought-ahead contract quantities and the imposition of any such limit must be the consequence of previous failed attempts to manage the customer’s trading position. An intention to impose a limit must be notified in writing to the customer by the TSTL or the TSMM as soon as is reasonably practicable and wherever possible, at least 2 weeks before the sale event closes to bids.


5.5 eSales – Manual Bids

  1. Section 3 Bidding rules normally precludes any sort of manual bid, however, if eSales is unable to accept bids, but customers have been able to view the sale documents, the TSMM will decide whether the sale can proceed or is to be delayed. If the sale proceeds, all eligible customers must be sent the guidance on how to submit a bid by email, along with a bidding sheet and the bidding T&Cs.
  2. The TSMM will arrange for bids to be emailed to an NRW address which is not accessible to TSTs or Forest Operations staff members (for example, an email address in the finance team). All customers will be notified of the bidding arrangements by notification in eSales and by email as soon as possible.
  3. The Sale Panel will wait for 24 hours after the published sale closure date before requesting the bids from the email inbox and opening Late submissions to the nominated email address will be accepted during that additional 24 hours.
  4. Bids not presented on the bidding form will be considered, provided the bid and the lot it relates to is clear and unambiguous. Unclear bids will be discounted. All bid emails will be retained with the sales documents in DMS.


5.6 Sale Panel

  1. The Sale Panel’s role is to consider the offers received and exercise judgement as necessary to recommend a sale decision that in the Panel’s view gives best value for NRW in a manner consistent with SMNR. The Sale Panel will then set out its recommendations in respect of each lot in the Sales Authorisation Report (see 1 Sale-results Authorisation Report (SAR)).
  2. In formulating its recommendations as to what is “best value for NRW”, the Sale Panel will consider the range and value of the offers received and, the financial, capacity and competence risks (see 7 Customer risks).
  3. The Sale Panel will aim for unanimous agreement over each Where this is not achieved, the TSMM will decide the recommendation and the Sales Authorisation Report will summarise the different views relating to that lot.
  4. The TSMM will convene the Sale Panel and decide its membership each time according to the sale requirements. The TSMM is accountable for the Panel’s application of judgement and its The Panel must have at least 6 members and will meet within 24 hours of the sale closing to offers. The TSMM will confirm at the start of each meeting that the Panel members and any observers have no undeclared COIs.
  5. The Sale Panel members should include:
    • TSMM (or delegate)
    • TSTL (or delegate)
    • 4 or more representatives from TST, BST, Commercial Performance Team, Transactional Finance Services
    • Other non-quorum observers and advisors may also be included from ET, LT and Place Teams.

6.The Sale Panel will hold all bids as commercially confidential information and shall not disclose any customer’s bids to any other customer or NRW staff member other than those who need that information to undertake the sale process.


5.7 Customer risks

  1. Prior to each sale, the TSTL will assess the existing contract quantity that each customer has ‘in-hand’ and raise a capacity risk where the customer’s outstanding quantity in all their existing contracts is more than 150% of the customer’s dispatches over the previous 12 months.
  2. Prior to each sale, the TSTL will also request a meeting with TFS team members to consider the financial position of each customer and will raise a financial risk if TFS is concerned about poor credit management or late payments.
  3. The TSTL will also raise a competence risk if a customer’s safety record, work quality or timeliness of completing remedial works and existing contracts has been the subject of a SIR, management intervention or contract enforcement by NRW since the last sale event.
  4. A customer with all three risks raised will not be sold new sales contracts in the current sale event and this will be noted in the Sale Authorisation Report.
  5. A customer with a financial risk or a competence risk, or both, may be sold new contracts at the Sale Panel’s discretion. If those new contracts would then technically create a capacity risk, this will not prevent the sale, but progress and capacity would be reviewed at the next sale.
  6. Where a customer with one or more risks raised is top bidder for a lot, the TST must ask the customer to clarify in writing that they fully understand the contractual terms they are agreeing to.
  7. Any decision to exclude bids on risk grounds will be documented in the DMS sale folder and highlighted in the Sales Results Authorisation Report.


5.8 Bid assessment

  1. Subject to sections 8 Customer eligibility and 5.7 Customer risks the Sale Panel will normally recommend that a lot is sold to the highest bid over reserve. All sale recommendations will be recorded on a Sales Results sheet.
  2. One of three recommendations will be made by the Sale Panel for each lot:


The bid is above reserve and the Sale Panel considers that the bid offers the best value for NRW.

Sold below reserve

The highest bid is below reserve but considering other bids and any information from the TST and / or the Place Teams, the Panel judges it to be a fair and reasonable market offer.

Not Sold

There are no offers received, or the offers are not considered by the Sale Panel to be fair and reasonable market offers, or the Customer Risks (see section 5.7 Customer risk) associated with the bids are such that the timely performance of a contract is considered to be unlikely, or is at high risk of failure.

3.The Sale Panel may not be able to make a firm recommendation immediately and may instruct TST to resolve the position. The sale result sheet will be marked with one or both of the following circumstances until the lot is resolved and the results sheet has been updated to one of the above sale recommendations.

Pending – Clarify

The Sale Panel may ask the TST to contact the Place Team for further information about the urgency or any SMNR considerations for the lot to help make their decision, or to contact the customer to clarify or confirm an important aspect of the lot or the bid with them, in particular confirming very high bids, and where section 5.7 Customer risk requires the customer to confirm their capacity in writing.

Pending – Negotiate

The Sale Panel will instruct the TST to contact the highest bidder XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX(see 2.5 Negotiated Sales). The reserve price and the other bidder’s names and bids will not be disclosed to the highest bidder at any time during this process.

4. When the Sale Panel instructs the TST to resolve any lot, it will delegate authority to the TSTL to decide the Sale Panel’s final recommendation within such parameters as the Sale Panel provides for the negotiation. The TSTL may also refer the decision to the TSMM. If the parameters cannot be met the lot is to be marked Unsold.

5. Each Sale Panel recommendation will be recorded and provided to the Executive Director CCC in the Sale Results Authorisation Report or any subsequent update of that report.


5.9 Improving bids

  1. Where the highest bid is below reserve and the Sale Panel instructs the TST to negotiate an improved bid, the TST will contact the customer within 24 hours, to inform them that the reserve has not been met and to negotiate an increase in their bid. Neither the reserve price nor the other bidders’ names or bids will be disclosed during the negotiation and no other term or lot detail may be discussed or changed.
  4. To accept the improved bid, BST will mark the lot as Unsold then create a new sale event for the same lot and invite only that customer.  The customer must then enter their improved bid in eSales ready for acceptance as a direct award, once the SAR is approved. The SAR will be updated by the TSTL and issued for the Executive Director of CCC’s approval.


5.10 Resolving equal offers

  1. In the event that a particular lot receives identical bids from two or more bidders, the Sale Panel will review the relative risks (see 7 Customer risks) and recommend awarding the lot to the customer deemed to be of least risk. The decision and reasons will be recorded on the Sale Results sheet.
  2. If there is no appreciable difference in risk, the TST will contact both customers within 24 hours, preferably by phone and both customers will be asked to improve their bids following the process in section 5.9 Improving bids. Under no circumstances will the two bidders be told who the other is or be set against another in a ‘bidding war’. Each will be given one independent opportunity to improve their bid.
  3. If bid improvement does not resolve the equal offers, and the reserve has been met, then the lot will be awarded to the bidder with the lowest volume yet to be worked (excluding the current sale outcomes).


5.11 Consideration of underbids

  1. Where the highest bidder for a lot is discounted by the Sale Panel for one or more of the reasons set out in sections 8 Customer eligibility and 5.7 Customer risks, the next highest bid will be considered. It will be treated in all respects like any other ‘highest bid’ regarding the sale recommendations, clarifications or negotiations to resolve the sale of the lot.
  2. Under no circumstances will two bidders be set against another in a ‘bidding war’ as part of a tactic or negotiation to improve This is unacceptable practice in a sealed-bid auction and significantly increases the risk of challenge. If the highest bidder (or next highest bidder as appropriate) fails to provide the best value for NRW, then the lot will automatically be marked as Unsold.
  3. Appropriate sale feedback for bidders in this situation is set out in section 6.3 Sale feedback


6.                               Concluding the sale

6.1 Sale-results Authorisation Report (SAR)

  1. Any individual contracts worth £5m or more (based on the bid price and estimated quantity) must be referred to NRW Board for approval and consideration for onward referral to Such referrals will be noted on the SAR along with any approval once it is received.
  2. The TSTL will prepare a first-issue SAR within 10 calendar days of the sale and once the bulk of any pending sales have been resolved. Any customers winning over £1m of contracts in the sale will be highlighted.
  3. The BST will send the SAR to the Executive Director of CCC for formal authorisation with an electronic signature. The authorised SAR will be copied to the Executive Director of Operations and the HSCD for information, and TST and BST for action.
  4. One or more re-issues of the SAR may be required to record and authorise all pending Each re-issue of the SAR must be re-approved by the Executive Director of CCC with an electronic signature and copied to Executive Director of Operations and the HSCD for information.
  5. All issues of the electronically signed SAR must be retained in the relevant sales folder in DMS.


6.2 Notification of results

  1. Once the SAR (and any re-issues) are signed, the TST may commence accepting the winning bids or marking lots as Unsold. When the winning bid is accepted in eSales, it automatically notifies the customer that they have won the lot. Where eSales is not used for this then acceptance letters must be issued by email.
  2. On NRW’s acceptance of the winning bid, the legal sale contract is formed, and the contract T&Cs
  3. The BST will prepare the sale results for publication on NRW’s website as soon as possible after the SAR is fully authorised. The results will be a simple list detailing the lot number and lot name and the customer. No other details will be published.


6.3 Sale feedback

  1. Feedback is an essential part of maintaining a viable market and must be sufficient to allow bidders to gauge the market conditions and to approach successful bidders to secure onward Customers who made a bid in a sale event (for any lot) may be given feedback at their request. Customers who did not bid may not request feedback for that sale.
  2. Only TST may give sale feedback and only after the sale results have been published. Feedback must be strictly limited, to avoid divulging commercially sensitive information or offering market advantage to one customer over another.

For any lot:

    • Name of winning bidder

For lots the customer has bid on:

    • The customer’s ranking within the range of bids (e.g. you were ranked third out of four)
    • Rough indication of how the customer’s bid fared. (e.g. “you were a few pounds below the highest”, “all bids were over reserve and close together”, “your bid was well behind the group”, “ you competed well and just fell a little short”).

For lots where the lot was not awarded to the highest bidder and that highest bidder requests feedback:

    • The reason why that highest bidder’s bid was not accepted.

3. Information that must never be shared:

    • Any other customer’s bid
    • NRW’s valuation or reserve price
    • Detail of Sale Panel discussions

4. Once the Sale Panel has finished its meeting or made its recommendations, some customers may seek an early indication of the sale outcome, to allow them to bid for material in other imminent private sector or Forestry England sales. All such requests must be passed to the TST who may only tell the customer which lots they were the highest bidder on, and must inform the customer that the final decision is not made and is always subject to change and Executive Director approval.


6.4 Sales contract documents

  1. Once the sales results are published, the BST will collate each lot’s information from eSales and issue them as a single contract document for the customer’s electronic signature. The customer must sign the contract document first, before it is then counter-signed on behalf of NRW.
  2. The contract document must use the information and versions that were used to sell the lot. Any newer or updated versions can only be used in the contract document if they have been used in the sale itself.
  3. The delegated authority bands for approving timber sales contracts are set out in Managing our Money. These are set at 2/3rds of the limits for other contracts in order to accommodate estimated contract quantities (i.e. use 150% of the sale contract value to determine the appropriate delegated authority band).


6.5 Challenges & complaints

  1. If any member of staff receives a complaint or a challenge from a bidder in relation to the sales process, they must pass it to the TST immediately and notify the If the challenge is a legal one then the TSMM will contact Legal Services for advice.
  2. The TST will investigate the issue and respond to the bidder in writing within 10 working The response will include the advice that if the bidder is not satisfied with the response then the formal complaints system is available.
  3. Where the challenge is over the award / non-award of a particular lot following a sale, the TSTL will ensure that the award of that lot is delayed where possible, or the sales contract for that lot is not sent out to the winning customer until the complaint has been investigated.
  4. If a bidder is not satisfied with the outcome of their challenge or complaint, the bidder should then register a formal complaint with NRW through the complaints process.


6.6 Subsequent sale of Unsold lots

  1. Any lot that is marked as Unsold may, after the sales results have been published, be marketed by TST with a view to achieving a ‘subsequent sale’ to pursue the financial and Forest Resource Plan objectives of bringing the lot to sale in the first place. The procedure will follow section 2.5 Negotiated Sales. If a subsequent sale is not agreed ‘in principle’ within 2 weeks of publishing the sale results, that lot must go back into the next available eSales event.
  2. The lot details, period and SSCs for the lot may not be adjusted. If these aspects need to be adjusted to improve the saleability of the lot then it must go back into a future open eSales event.
  3. In all cases, section 2.6 STA Procedure must be followed to pre-approve and authorise the subsequent sale of the lot. The Sale Panel may decide to recommend which customer(s) might be approached to negotiate sale of an Unsold lot. The decision and reasons will be recorded on the Sale Results sheet.
  4. Otherwise, an eligible customer (see 1.8 Customer eligibility) may approach NRW by email, to purchase an Unsold lot. Alternatively, the TST, taking into account the Place Team’s view, crop or product specifications, location, site constraints and working methods, may seek to identify candidate customers who they believe may be interested in buying the Unsold lot.


7.           Contract Management


7.1 Contract manager (CM)

  1. Place Team Leader must assign a CM to manage the The CM must have sufficient capability and capacity to monitor safe working, assure adherence to the terms and conditions, and to act quickly on remedial breaches or incidents. The sales contracts must be actively managed by NRW and must not to be managed by exception or left to the customer to manage progress.
  2. CMs will undertake regular reviews of contract progress from the date of sale onwards. CMs will initiate communication regularly with the customer to provide feedback and reminders and to ensure the work starts in good time and progresses safely and in a timely manner.
  3. CMs may request TST assistance to manage contract performance issues provided there is evidence on file that points 1) and 2) have been pursued. Evidence of this management is essential before contract enforcement or termination can be considered.
  4. CMs should not indicate any move to terminate contracts without the assistance of the TST, who will also seek advice from Legal Services. The TSMM will form a view of the case for termination and discuss with the HSCD initially. Any decision to terminate one or more of a customer’s contracts will be taken by the HSCD. All related documents and decisions will be stored on DMS.


7.2 Pre-commencement procedures

  1. It is a requirement of the sale contract T&Cs that the Pre-commencement procedures are fully completed and agreed between the customer and the CM before the harvesting or haulage work can begin. This includes moving machinery onto site which has particular hazards to be managed.
  2. Before any customer activity may start on site, the BST will ensure the following criteria have been met, and access codes will not be opened unless;

There is a signed contract.

  • The current start date has been


  • The contract manager has confirmed by email to BST that either a PCM has been held or has confirmed that access codes can be opened.


7.3 Contract Variation

  1. Variations are used to implement material changes that affect the ‘scope’ of the original contract. The scope of the contract is essentially the parameters of the work that the customer will have costed and bid on, such as volume, work type or location, price, coupe boundary and significant SSC’s. The Contract Variations Guidance provides examples of such variations.
  2. Minor variations to a contract (change to haulage route, loads per day, restricted hours etc.) do not require a CVR, but must be agreed in writing with the customer, and documented in the contract file.
  3. If a number of requests to vary different aspects of a contract are received over time, CMs should consider whether the cumulative effect would change the contract significantly from what was originally offered for sale. The TSMM should be consulted if there are concerns.
  4. Sales contracts may only be varied using the CVR process to authorise the change. Variations should generally be used to accommodate unforeseen changes and unavoidable delays but they may also be used to implement administrative changes to contracts as necessary to manage NRW’s obligations under them.
  5. There must be a clear and reasonable rationale behind each variation request. The aspects of a Sales contract that may be varied using the CVR procedure include:
    • Bringing the start date forward (early start) (see 4 Early start requests)
    • Extending the contract period (see 5 Contract period extensions)
    • Changing the Price (see 6 Variation of price) (see also 2.5 Negotiated Sales and 2.6 STA Procedure)
    • Adding a new area within the same coupe (e.g. to clear sporadic windblow)
    • Increasing the contract quantity (e.g. to clear sporadic windblow)
    • Material change to the SSCs.


7.4 Early start requests

  1. An early start can be considered by the CM any time after the contract has been There must be a written request from the customer to initiate it. An early start may be considered if the CM agrees that it can be resourced earlier than expected, and the following can be assured before the earlier start date:
    • The contract document will be
    • The pre-commencement procedures will be
    • Other contracts and forest operations will not be
    • Safe working arrangements or site sensitivities will not be
    • Timber security will not be
    • All site-specific conditions will still be
    • The site access and other infrastructure and facilities will be
    • Public access management, and periods of notice to stakeholders are not
    • Other stakeholders and third parties can be
  2. For RS sales, an additional factor to be considered is whether the produce is ready at roadside or whether it can be brought to roadside in time.
  3. The CM will complete a CVR form, include the customer’s request, and seek TL approval before sending to timber sales. The CVR form will be actioned by BST in accordance with the CVR administrative instructions.


7.5 Contract period extensions

  1. It is expected at the time of sale that the contracts will be completed within the specified Given that performance is subject to market influences, resource availability and weather, and contract completion is of benefit to NRW, it is reasonable to expect that extensions may be necessary at times. This is not however a customer’s right and NRW’s agreement to any extension request should be a considered decision.
  2. Contract extensions are used to accommodate unforeseen delays and resource issues that have prevented the work proceeding as planned. An extension request will be robustly challenged where the contract start has been delayed by factors within the control of the customer despite the CM’s evidenced attempts to get the customer to site in good time.
  3. Where NRW has caused a work delay for any reason, an extension request to accommodate reasonable extra time should normally be agreed.
  4. In normal cases, a customer’s failure to start in sufficient time to be able to complete the contract within the period will be referred to the TSMM to consider termination of the This relies on there being evidence on file of the CM’s communications and attempted management of the customer. However, where the customer has responded and communicated and agreed a work plan for the contract, then an extension request will be considered more favourably.
  5. Each month BST will run a contract progress report for live contracts in These will be sent to the relevant CMs. All CMs must review this report in a timely manner and if any contract is due to expire within the next two months, they must decide whether action is required. All decisions and actions must be recorded in the contract file with confirmation that the contract performance is on track, or not.
  6. Where the CM is satisfied that the contract will be completed in time, including any remedial work and removal of equipment, the contract must be managed to completion including resolving any final invoices or The CM must then submit a closure certificate to BST as soon as is reasonably practicable.
  7. Where the CM believes that the work will not be completed in time, consideration should be given to extending the contract period bearing in mind that a late start by an uncommunicative customer (which is not NRW’s delay) is not in itself a reason to extend a contract. See decision tree in guidance.
  8. If an extension is deemed appropriate, contract managers should seek to agree a reasonable period with the customer. The customer must request the extension by email and the CM will complete the CVR form and submit it to their Team Leader for approval, and onward submission to BST.
  9. The TSMM may over-rule any extension request or termination action in consultation with the TST and Place Teams as part of the overall management of the customer relationship.
  10. The CVR must be submitted to bstcontracts@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk preferably 4 weeks before the contract is due to expire where this is practicable. However, a decision to extend a contract may be taken up to one month after the expiry of that contract in circumstances where it is demonstrable that both NRW and the customer intended to continue with the contract, despite the lack of a formal extension.


7.6 Variation of price

  1. If the customer of their own volition requests a price variation after the contract has been sold, the TSMM shall consider whether the request has merit. Requests based solely on market changes, or business hardship will not have merit. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
  2. Where the customer’s request does not meet the above criteria then the TSMM will write to the customer setting out the reasoning for refusing to vary the price. When considering the request, contractual obligations will be considered alongside the financial and reputational consequences for NRW and the relevant facts of the customer’s case.
  3. If the customer’s request is accepted then the TST with the CM, will draft a narrative setting out the evidence for the case. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. The TST and the TSMM will then arrange to negotiate the price with the customer (see section 2.5 Negotiated Sales). Unresolved negotiations will be passed back to the TSTL initially to review the valuation and negotiation plan.


4. If the price variation is to apply to all dispatches, the TST will prepare a CVR for the price change and ensure it is appropriately authorised in line with MoM (at the new or old price whichever is higher). BST will then place a change request with ICT to change the contract price. This will generate a credit for all dispatches already on the contract so FTS must be pre-warned of this action.

      5. If the price variation is not to apply to dispatches that have already taken place, the revised price will be implemented as an STA for the direct award of a new contract for the unworked part of the old contract. The original contract must be terminated by mutual agreement (at the point agreed when negotiating), and the termination letter must be agreed by the customer before NRW will accept the eSales offer to implement the new contract and price.


7.7 Contract novation

  1. Either NRW or a customer may propose to transfer an existing contract from one customer to another. In deciding whether to agree a customer’s proposal, NRW will consider whether it would be a solution to a resource issue, which would otherwise delay or stall the performance of the contract.
  2. The original customer must be unable to meet the contract obligations and the replacement customer must be willing to take them on, along with the benefits.
  3. For RS sales, NRW will also consider whether the produce is ready at roadside or whether it can be brought to roadside in time.
  4. The CM will complete a CVR form, include the customer’s request, and seek TL approval before sending to timber The CVR form will be actioned by BST in accordance with the CVR administrative instructions.
  5. The transfer must be agreed using the template novation agreement, and signed by each of NRW, the original customer and the new customer.


7.8 Contract outturn reports (COR)

  1. Contracts are sold on an estimated quantity as the mensuration method used for sale has a large degree of confidence XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX in these cases the CM must complete and submit to BST a COR form.
  2. The COR must indicate what factors, in the CMs opinion, gave rise to the additional BST will record the COR according to their desk instructions.
  3. Each quarter, the TST will update the PowerBI report tracking this data and send a link to Forest Operations Head of Service (or a delegate) to review any trends and consider what, if any, corrective action should be taken.


7.9 Dispatches

  1. The sales contract T&Cs require customers, their hauliers and contractors to follow the Dispatch Procedures which are part of the sale documents for every lot and These procedures support the management of Timber Secuity on the estate.
  2. The Dispatch Procedure sets out how and when authority is to be obtained for each dispatch by requesting a Failure to do so is a contract breach and must be acted upon as such. The CMs, TST and BST must seek to maintain discipline and control of all aspects of timber security and should readily enforce contract T&Cs through temporary contract suspensions whenever any dispatch error comes to light, until it is remedied.
  3. Mobile dispatch is the preferred method of obtaining PINs as it uses an automatic third-party SMS service which links back to A dispatch desk and phone line are also maintained by BST during advertised office hours, and any customer may also use this to obtain a PIN. Additionally, where TFS may have concerns over a customer’s financial status then they may request the BST to place the customer on ‘Manual PINs’ to remove their access to the mobile system and this allows their PINs and credit use to be closely managed by BST who will only issue PINs when the customer is within their credit balance.
      • PIN checks
  4. Place Teams must undertake a check of XXXXXXX  timber dispatches from their area. BST will maintain a Power BI report to allow Place Teams to monitor their own performance.
  5. The checks may be a physical check of information held by the driver of the lorry when encountered on site, or they may be a check of TSS data against observed a date & time-stamped image from a security camera, or a mobile PIN check using the same SMS facility that supports PIN issue.
  6. Place Teams must complete the checks and send details to BST for recording in TSS. The information required by BST includes the contract number, DRN, and the date and time of dispatch.


7.10 Weighing products

  1. The contract T&Cs state that all weighbridges used by customers must comply with relevant legal obligations for weighing products for trade use, as regulated by Trading Standards offices.
  2. At the request of BST, the Customer will provide evidence of recent weighbridge calibration. Where a certificate is not provided within 10 working days of request, BST will alert TST who will contact the customer to give them reasonable notice that the weighbridge should not be used. Any loads weighed on it, from a specified date, would be treated as an un-weighed load (30 tonnes net) until calibration was evidenced (as per T&Cs).
  3. Weight tickets must be produced by the weighbridge as printed or electronic documents and not be manually written without reasonable grounds (e.g. temporary printer error). Any failure by the haulier or weighbridge to accurately record weights and dispatch details on physical documents is a breach of dispatch procedures and contract T&Cs and must be implemented.
  4. In some remote places with local markets, customers may request that an occasional load is not weighed due to the fuel costs of travelling to a calibrated weighbridge and In this circumstance the TSMM may agree a one-off solution with the customer which may include for example; 1 in 5 sample load weighing, self-weigher printouts from the vehicle; load measurement converted to tonnes or stack measurement converted to tonnes. In the latter case, a single dispatch for the whole stack is necessary and will require full payment on normal terms. Separate stacks may be measured and dispatched separately of course. All such arrangements will be agreed in writing beforehand and will be limited to the specific contract and the specific market destinations involved. The CM must also agree the arrangement and be confident that it can be monitored and reviewed as necessary.
      • Products out of specification
  5. Under the RS T&Cs, NRW gives no warranty on the product Even so it is reasonable to allow the customer to reject products that are noticeably out of specification (FC Field Book 9), if NRW has supplied them under a RS contract. This would not apply if the customer has collected the wrong product from the site. In that case the customer must return it or pay the full value of the products they took, or the contract price, whichever is the higher. BST will ask TFS to issue a sundry invoice.
  6. The CMs must investigate all such claims and agree the quantity to be reconciled if any. If the material has already been processed by the customer in any way then the claim is to be rejected. On the CM’s advice, BST will then agree with the customer which dispatch is to be manually adjusted to allow for the same quantity of rejected timber. In this case, the customer may retain the rejected timber if it is impractical to return it to site.


7.11 Self-billing

  1. Self-billing is a process where customers supply dispatch data via a CSV file, instead of individual weight-
  2. There are two types of ‘self-bill’, full-self-bill involves the customer submitting a SBI (self-bill-invoice) and the corresponding payment to NRW, based on their CSV data.
  3. Each full-self-bill customer must submit a weekly dispatch record (CSV file) for all the loads received during the previous week, along with a self-billed invoice for those loads.
  4. The second type of self-bill, eFIDS Lite, is strictly speaking not ‘self-billing’, as whilst the dispatch data is supplied to NRW on a CSV from the customer, NRW will raise the Again, the customer must submit a weekly dispatch record (CSV file) for all the loads received during the previous week.
  5. Self-billing is a legacy process from before NRW was formed, however TSS was not configured to secure the full benefits of A manual upload of the submitted data is still required. The customers that have historically submitting SBIs have been allowed to continue, but since 2021, NRW no longer offers full-self-bill to new applicants. However, eFIDS Lite is still an option for any customers who wish to partake.
  6. BST will carry out an audit of a minimum of 10% (monthly or quarterly surveillance, dependant on number of despatches) of all self-bill despatches As part of this audit, we will request the copy tickets from a random selection of despatches and compare to the data provided on the CSV file. Any anomalies discovered will be brought to the attention of the customer for clarification.
  7. Timber Sales contract T&Cs warranty that every customer provides a DRN and an acceptable weight-ticket from a calibrated weighbridge, for each load of timber.


7.12 Contract Termination – Settlement of claims












12. All documents relating to a potential dispute and considerations around settlement will be saved in a LTD folder on DMS, accessible only to those directly involved in dealing with the potential settlement.


7.13 Document Management

  1. DMS must be used to retain all documents related to the sale and the management of the contract. The Sales Results Authorisation Report, letters and other related documents must all be easily accessible, but with access limited to relevant stakeholders only.
  2. For specific guidance on filing documents in DMS please refer to Forest Operations Contract Documentation and its Storage.