Civil society set out priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum joined Enough Food for Everyone IF, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Scottish Trade Unions Congress and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland to set out the civil society priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill introduced in Parliament on 3 October 2013. 

The call from all five organisations details a list of top ten priorities for a Scotland committed to sustainability and ethical procurement.  It also is apt that as a recently declared Fair Trade Nation, Scotland is able to ensure ethical and fair trade is embedded into the Procurement Reform Bill. 

The ten priorities are:

  1. Statement of Intent: The Bill must, in its Introductory Text, include a statement of intent to embed sustainable and ethical considerations at the heart of the procurement process.
  2. Enshrining sustainability: To provide clarity and focus for use of the term’ sustainable procurement’, the Bill must include reference to the established definition of sustainable development.
  3. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: The Scottish Climate Change Act requires that our country’s greenhouse gas emissions must reduce by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels and includes a duty upon all public bodies to contribute to meeting these emissions targets.
  4. Person-centred procurement: The organisations believe that the Bill would be strengthened if they were a differentiated approach to procurement practices between the buying of ‘things’ and the buying of ‘services’.
  5. Scottish Living Wage: The Scottish Living Wage should be promoted outwith the public sector through procurement.
  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. 
  8. Ethical and Fair Trade: Ethical and responsible trading policies have the potential to transform lives around the world.
  9. Employment standards: Procurement should be used to drive up employment standards with consequential benefits to the Scottish economy.
  10. Promoting positive social outcomes: It is important to look at the relationship between public spending and social outcomes.

Another relevant document:
Fair Trade Public Procurement in Scotland: a Briefing, A report by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, August 2013