Sustainable Procurement Tools

Where equality requirements are built into the contract, performance indicators need to be developed to ensure delivery. For example, requiring contractors to complete monthly monitoring forms or provide evidence of recruitment practices used.

For high risk procurements the following enhanced contract management should be considered for inclusion in the terms of the contract:

  • specific performance KPI’s to be provided by contractor
  • enhanced supplier management (regular formal meetings)
  • continuous improvement audits, including open book cost reviews
  • consumer surveys to assess delivery performance

Contractual requirements must be quantifiable and measurable; otherwise there is a risk that it may be unenforceable. The buyer must also consider whether this requirement is core to the contract or a secondary issue, as any remedy for breach of performance may be difficult to quantify.

At the point of potential award there is always scope to reach a voluntary agreement with the supplier that both parties will work together through the period of the contract with the aim of improving equality performance, and to deliver identified (and agreed) outcomes that can be captured as contract commitments.

As part of your continual improvement agenda, you may seek to improve the equality performance of suppliers in a way that goes beyond their contractual obligations.

This would help fulfil the need to advance equalities under the general duty. For example an authority may work with its suppliers to improve their equality and diversity policies and practices and to share best practice among them.

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