Sustainable Procurement Tools

Below are some examples of wording that could be used as award criteria where there may be concerns over working conditions and labour standards in the supply chain.

It is important to consider the relevance of individual award criteria taking account of the subject matter of the contract:

'The contractor must put in place processes that will ensure that labour standards are being maintained in line with ILO core conventions and local labour laws, throughout its supply chain(s) for goods relevant to the framework agreement.'

‘Bidders must provide information to illustrate that suppliers and production sites should hold an independently audited and internationally-recognised standard relevant to the product, in order to demonstrate how they are addressing ethical and social issues such as the avoidance of child labour, application of fair trade principles and adequate working conditions, in the manufacture of [textiles].’  

‘The contractor will perform its obligations in accordance with the Authority’s, and framework public bodies ethical sourcing policy, which is to promote appropriate standards regarding legal, ethical and social issues including, for example, health and safety, workers’ rights, equality, corruption and fair trade, in particular in developing or countries with low production costs.’ *this should be edited as appropriate to reflect the relevant risk elements prevalent for the contract.  

‘The contractor must take all reasonable steps to ensure that all goods supplied under this framework agreement are produced in accordance with all International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions that have been ratified by the country of their origin, in particular, in relation to labour standards, working conditions and the use of child labour.’   

‘The contractor will be expected to have a comprehensive system which demonstrates an on-going and systematic approach to identifying and managing risks relating to labour standards, working conditions and use of child labour in the supply chains relevant to the framework agreement.

'This should include policy, roles and responsibilities, objectives, targets and programmes, training and awareness, communications (including whistle blowing), documentation and procedures, supply chain management, emergency response, monitoring and reporting (including identification of all suppliers, changes made and audits undertaken in accordance with appropriate standards for example ETI Base Code, SEDEX, or equivalent), corrective action and review.‘   

‘The contractor will be required to demonstrate continual improvement in working conditions and labour standards, while enhancing policies and systems and, where relevant, work with the Authority during the term of the framework agreement to ensure compliance with new and emerging legislation.'

Abnormally low bids

Contracts must not be awarded where a tender price is abnormally low due to breaches of social, environmental or labour law, and contracts must include relevant clauses to allow for termination in the case of similar breaches.

Supporting guidance has been issued, which includes contract conditions that contracting authorities can adapt for use in their contracts.

The approach taken by Scottish Procurement when establishing a new suite of national frameworks for the supply of ICT client devices has been outlined in a case study

Case studies are also available on the approach taken by the University of Edinburgh when establishing their formal academic dress hire services contract, and Scotland Excel when establishing their hot beverage machinery and supplies framework.

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