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Report
Buying Better Outcomes
Equalities and Procurement
Workshop 1
Identifying Need
and Creating the Specification
Identifying need
• Equalities issues should first be considered at this early
stage of the procurement cycle to identify relevant
equality requirements.
• This should be driven by your local knowledge of your
communities and/or clients
• Assessing the likely impact on equality of the
goods/services is a useful way to identify need and start to
develop the specification
• To achieve value for money, be clear about what you want
to ‘buy’. Is there a relevant equality requirement?
• Consider whether equality considerations need to be a core
requirement, depending on relevance
Identifying need
• If equality issues are highly relevant to or are the subject
matter of the contract it should be included as a core
requirement and is best dealt with through the
specification.
• Other requirements can be dealt with by including a clause
in the terms and conditions of the contract, where relevant.
Or maybe on a voluntary basis in agreement with the
contractor, depending on their relevance to the outcomes
being sought from the contract.
• You will need to make a judgement as to the level of
application you wish or need to make.
WIDER BENEFITS
Opportunity to :
- add value to the
contract
- contribute to the
wider social aims
- encourage wider
participation
ADDITIONAL
REQUIREMENTS
equality is not main
subject matter of
contract but is relevant
because service or
good is used by
diverse users
PRIMARY
equalities is
subject matter of
contract –
service or good
to meet specific
equality criteria
Identifying need
• Equality is more likely to be relevant to contracts
for services delivered directly to the public
(or a section of the public) because service users
are often diverse.
• Examples of this include: housing management,
transport, children’s and adult services and
most/many of the services that GPs will be
commissioning.
Identifying Need
• Goods and services that may be procured are varied:
For example, bailiff services, car parking, transport of
prisoners, and provision for special education needs.
• Goods may be used by a wide range of users and staff –
for example ICT equipment and software, street furniture,
and for staff, uniforms and vehicles.
 Always think about accessibility for disabled people and
the public in general when awarding contracts for capital
projects.
Identifying need
• Review your past and current provision
• Has it discriminated against some groups in practice, or not
met their needs?
• What do differences in service take up or satisfaction levels
indicate?
• Are there alternative ways of specifying the service or
product?
• Have cuts in service had a (differential) impact?
• Consider current and likely demographic changes
• What other trends are impacting on service delivery?
Identifying need
• Consider the whole range of protected characteristics – don’t
assume ‘one size fits all’
• Remember there is diversity within each protected group e.g.
older women, Asian men or young disabled people.
• Ensure all relevant stakeholders are engaged /consulted on
these issues at this stage
•
•
•
•
•
existing/ new service users
existing networks and forums
non service users
the current service provider
the officers responsible for current arrangements
• Use existing mechanisms and information wherever possible to
avoid consultation overload
Specification
When drawing up the specification:
• Have you got and considered all the information available?
- Be clear as to what the equalities-related requirements are
and how they will be evaluated and measured
• You should be able to verify, monitor and evaluate
whatever you specify
• Has the likely impact on equality been considered?
• Does the specification continuous improvement and change
– e.g. the changing demographics of your communities?
Specification
• Think about what kind of specification to use:
 outcome (functional)
 output (performance)
 input (technical)
• In reality the specification will probably be a combination of all
three because there will be certain parameters you have to lay
down.
• Generally, specifying outcomes and outputs is better than inputs as
it allows for more innovative responses.
• Remember you are using the specification to set out explicitly
what you want the contractor to do
Specification
•
You can specify
• positive action e.g. specific action where there is evidence of a
group being underrepresented.
• workforce requirements e.g. language skills
• community benefits e.g. improved access to skills, services etc.
• The important thing is to identify the right benefits in terms of
equality that this procurement can bring which should relate to the
subject matter of the contract.
• Remember that this is about all parties clearly understanding the
needs identified and provides the structure for it to be delivered
by the contractor to your requirements.
Exercise
Waste collection, recycling and equalities
Your job is to:
• determine what the real need is, who you will consult and
what the key equalities issues are likely to be for the
proposed contract
• whether the specification should be detailed in terms of
inputs, outputs or outcomes
• then determine what you will put in the specification and
what may be put in the terms and conditions.

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