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Ethical Procurement. Jo Mitchell Scottish Government.

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Ethical Procurement

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Ethical Procurement

Jo Mitchell

Scottish Government

Public procurement is a powerful driver of development. In addition to providing goods and services a country needs, the act of procurement itself can strengthen local economies, support marginalized groups and boost local capacity for commerce

Ban Ki Moon

Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations

Existing Legislation – Public Contracts Regulations (Scotland) 2012

Conditions for performance of contracts

39. (1) A contracting authority may stipulate conditions relating to the performance of a public contract, provided that those conditions are compatible with EU law and are indicated in—

(a)the contract notice and the contract documents; or .

(b)the contract documents. .

(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (1) may, in particular, include social and environmental considerations.

The Scottish Model Of Procurement:



  • Vision:

  • Through the Scottish Model of Procurement, to be world leaders in innovative public procurement, enabling the best outcomes for Scotland


Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill

Content of the Bill as introduced to Parliament

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

  • Statement of Intent

    Expect Bill to include a statement to embed sustainable and ethical considerations at the heart of the procurement process:

    Aim of the Bill

    To establish a national legislative framework for sustainable public procurement that supports Scotland's economic growth by:

  • delivering social and environmental benefits including community benefits, 

  • supporting innovation and

  • promoting public procurement processes and systems which are transparent, streamlined, standardised, proportionate, fair and business-friendly.

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

  • Enshrining Sustainability

    To provide clarity and focus for use of the term ‘sustainable procurement’

    Sustainable Procurement Duty:

    (a) before carrying out a regulated procurement, to consider how in conducting the procurement process it can—

    (i) improve the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of the authority’s area,

    (ii) facilitate the involvement of small and medium enterprises, third sector 10 bodies and supported businesses in the process, and

    (iii) promote innovation, and

    (b) in carrying out the procurement, to act with a view to securing such improvements

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    Reflecting duty upon all public bodies to contribute to meeting emissions targets under Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009

    The procurement strategy must, in particular…

    (iii) be carried out in compliance with its duties under section 8,

    (A contracting authority must, in carrying out a regulated procurement—

    (a) treat relevant economic operators equally and without discrimination,

    (b) act in a transparent and proportionate manner; and

    the Sustainable procurement duty)

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions cont’d

    Amendment of Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009

    (1) The Scottish Ministers may by regulations require specified contracting authorities to ensure that—

    (a) a specified proportion of the goods or works procured by or on behalf of the authorities, or

    (b) a specified proportion of the materials used in the production, provision or construction of goods, services or works so procured, fall within subsection (2).

    (2) Something falls within this subsection if—

    (a) it has been used already (including where it has been refurbished since that use),

    (b) it has been remanufactured, or

    (c) it is designed to be repaired, reused, refurbished, remanufactured or recycled.

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

4. Person-centred Procurement

Differentiate between buying ‘things’ and buying ‘services’ in line with Christie Commission – ‘services for people’

Procurement of Care and Support Services

  • Guidance on the procurement of care and support services was jointly developed by the Scottish Procurement and the Joint Improvement Team (JIT) in consultation with representation from all interested parties (September 2010)

  • The guidance was developed in recognition that the procurement of care and support services requires special consideration within a public body's overall approach to the procurement of goods, works and services.

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

4. Person-centred Procurement cont’d

EU Procurement Directive

The distinction between Part A and Part B Services has been removed, and a new light-touch regime introduced for social and health and some other services. There will be OJEU advertising and other specific obligations for this new light-touch regime, but a much higher threshold has been agreed (EUR 750,000)

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

5 Scottish Living Wage

The Scottish living wage should be promoted outwith the public sector through procurement; and,

9 Employment Standards

Procurement should be used to drive up employment standards

The Scottish Ministers may issue guidance about the selection of economic operators …

(2) The guidance may, in particular, cover…

(b) the matters relating to the recruitment and terms of engagement of persons involved in producing, providing or constructing the subject matter of the regulated procurement that are to be taken into account in assessing the suitability of an economic operator.

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Billill

6 Blacklisting

Companies that engage in the practice of blacklisting employees should be excluded from public contracts

7 Tax Dodging

Procurement should be used as part of stronger efforts to tackle tax dodging and tax avoidance, both at home and in developing countries

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make further provision about the selection by contracting authorities of economic operators to participate in the process relating to a regulated procurement (other than an EU-regulated procurement) including, in particular, provision about—

  • the use of minimum standard requirements to assess the suitability of economic operators in relation to a regulated procurement,

  • the circumstances in which an economic operator may or may not be excluded on the basis of criteria specified in the regulations,

  • the procedure that is to be followed in determining whether or not to exclude an economic operator.

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1)(b), criteria which may be specified 30 in the regulations include—

(a) that—

the economic operator,

(ii) a director, secretary, office-holder or partner of the economic operator, or

(iii) another person having powers of representation, decision-making or control 35 in relation to the economic operator,

has been convicted of an offence,

(b) that the economic operator has failed to comply with—

(i) an obligation to pay tax, or

(ii) another statutory duty (other than by committing an offence) specified in the regulations,

(c) that the economic operator has committed an act of misconduct of a kind specified in the regulations,

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

8 Ethical and Fair Trade

Ethical and responsible trading policies have the potential to transform lives around the world.

Existing Regulations – Paragraph 39 Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012

United Nations Guiding Principles - UK companies should undertake to respect human rights wherever they operate

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

8 Ethical and Fair Trade cont’d

New Procurement Directive

New rules on social and environmental issues – clarification that the means of production can be considered, that “eco labels” can be required and “social” has been added to the list of permitted award criteria

Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill

Sustainable Procurement Duty; and,

Technical Specifications

The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make provision about the use of technical specifications in regulated procurements (other than EU-regulated procurements).

(2) In this section, a technical specification is a specification which defines required characteristics of—

(a) goods, services or works,

(b) the way in which the goods, services or works are to be produced, provided or constructed,

(c) any process relating to another stage in the life cycle of the goods, services or works.

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

10. Promoting Positive Social Outcomes

‘We would begin to change the way public money is used in Scotland’

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

Promoting Positive Social Outcomes cont’d

‘We think that, where good practice exists, the bill will not have a huge effect – some people already do a lot of the things that are intended by the bill… I have a very positive view of a lot of the good practice that exists’

Barry White, Scottish Futures Trust, 6th November 2013

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

Promoting Positive Social Outcomes cont’d

1. Community Benefits – across all sectors and spends

e.g. Bull Stud Refurbishment; Domestic Furniture and Furnishings including White Goods Framework; Southern General Hospital; Glasgow Housing Association

2. Public Social Partnerships

e.g. Glasgow PSP to develop optimum approach to Self-Directed Support; Reducing Reoffending PSP – Low Moss

3. National Supported Business Framework , 4 lots - Furniture and associated products; Document management; Textiles/personal protective equipment (PPE) and Signage

SFTF Civil Priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

Promoting Positive Social Outcomes cont’d

Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill:

Sustainable Procurement Duty;

Community Benefits;

Guidance on workforce matters;

Technical Specification;

Amendments to the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

ProcurementReform (Scotland) Bill

Our next steps

  • Support the proposed Bill though the Parliamentary process

  • Implement the Legislation when agreed / support policy areas in maximising the Bill

  • Meanwhile, other strands of work are being taken forward through the public procurement reform programme to improve the way the procurement system operates in Scotland


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