Sustainable Procurement Tools

The specification can set expectations with regards to the importance of crime prevention, and can include aspects which will support a strong emphasis on quality and service delivery, that can meet the standard expected of the contract. These should form part of the award criteria and could include:

  • Quality management systems to track and report on performance
  • Provision to commission independent third party audits
  • Continuous improvement requirements post award, including open book audits
  • Disclosure Scotland Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) disclosure
  • Proposals for on-going delivery of equality and diversity systems and training to the extent relevant to the contract
  • Proposals for quality assurance of the service to be delivered under the contract
  • Membership of relevant bodies, or accreditations maintained throughout the period of the contract
  • Relevant and proportionate key performance indicators (KPIs) and a description of the mechanism for measuring performance
  • Terms and conditions that allow for termination of the contract with suppliers and sub-contractors for breaches of social, environmental or employment law
  • Terms and conditions aimed at ensuring supply chain transparency and protections

The specification could highlight the contracting authority’s anti-fraud (corruption, bribery) policy, and / or anti-serious organised crime policy, and advise that contractors will be expected to take a similarly robust approach. This might include policy, roles and responsibilities, objectives, targets and programmes, training and awareness, communications (including whistle blowing), documentation and procedures, etc.

Care should be taken when developing the specification for the requirement to ensure that it is either not overly burdensome or too narrow to favour a single supplier, which could create an opportunity for collusion.

Any requirements included should be relevant to the contract and associated supply chain. There should also be intent on the part of the contracting authority to check compliance with these requirements following award of the contract as part of on-going contract and supplier management.

Labels / Accreditations

A buyer can ask for what they are buying to have been given an independently verifiable label which certifies that it meets specific environmental, social or other characteristics.

The use of labels needs to be approached with care as if a buyer does ask for a label, it must be:

  • linked to the subject of the contract (and all criteria must be relevant)
  • clear to judge in an open and fair way which does not discriminate
  • open to anyone who meets the standards
  • certified by a third party

This means that a particular label should only be requested where all of its certification characteristics correspond to a procurement.

Where not all of a label's certification characteristics apply to a procurement, it would be more appropriate to provide a full description of the requirements in the tender documentation, instead of asking for the label itself.

Additionally, if a specific label is requested evidence of compliance with an equivalent standard or label must also be accepted.

A buyer could also just use the criteria behind labels to help draw up contract conditions, and then for checking compliance with these requirements, by accepting the label as a means of proof of compliance with the technical specifications.

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