Public Sector Procurement

The public sector in Scotland spends billions of pounds on procuring goods and services each year. As Fair Trade campaigners, we want this public procurement to be an expression of Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status. There are already many great examples in Scotland of public procurement being used to support Fair Trade producers and suppliers.

However, we also recognise that public procurement officials deserve clearer guidance on how it is possible to use ethical requirements when carrying out public purchasing while remaining within the law. We also recognise that many of our campaigners need a clearer understanding of the procurement process.

Guidance on Statutory Requirements – Fair and Ethical Trading – Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

Contracting authorities with significant spend are required to prepare a procurement strategy that includes a statement of their general policy on the procurement of fairly and ethically traded goods and services (section 15(5)(b)(v) of the Act). More information can be found within this Scottish Government Statutory Guidance document, under sub-section 2.5.10.

Guide for contracting authorities on embedding Fair Trade Principles into procurement practices

This detailed guidance is for public bodies covering the purchase of products and services where there may be concerns about human rights, working conditions and exploitation. It covers:

  • Policy and legal context
  • Assessment of risk/opportunity
  • Pre-contract notification
  • Supplier selection
    • Exclusion grounds
    • Selection criteria
    • Specfication development
    • Labels
    • Award
    • Abnormally low bids
  • Contract Management

Public sector organisations creating fair and ethical procurement practices and results

Ethical Procurement Case Study- University of Edinburgh

Ethical Procurement Case Study – Scotland Excel