Powerpoint - Equality and Human Rights Commission

Buying Better Outcomes
Mainstreaming equality considerations
in procurement
Part One
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010
• Streamlines and simplifies
• distils nine Acts into one
• harmonises definitions and exceptions
• Strengthens
• generic Equality Duty on public bodies
• bans age discrimination
• extends positive action
• harmonises upwards protection across strands
Public Sector Equality Duty
(the general duty)
Public authorities, in the exercise of their duties,
must have due regard to the need to:
• eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation
• advance equality of opportunity
• Act refers to removing or minimising disadvantage, meeting
needs of people with protected characteristics or encouraging
participation where participation is disproportionately low
• foster good relations
• Act refers to tackling prejudice and promoting understanding
The Specific Duties
Public authorities subject to the specific duties must publish:
• one or more specific and measurable equality objectives, at
least every four years
• information to demonstrate compliance with the general
equality duty, at least annually
• must include, in particular, information relating to your
employees (for authorities with 150 or more staff) and others
affected by your policies and practices such as service users
• the information must be accessible to the public
The PSED and procurement
The general duty applies to commissioning and
• It applies to all contracts, regardless of value
• Public authorities cannot delegate their obligations under the duty
to the contractor
• It has implications for the procurement process:
• You must have had due regard to the 3 aims of the general duty
when procuring and be able to demonstrate compliance
• This means ensuring that contractors are required to provide any
relevant information you will need to be able to demonstrate
compliance, in case of challenge
Part Two
Buying Better Outcomes
Role Of Procurement in Equalities
Compliance vs. Good Practice
The duty require only ‘due regard’
• extent of relevance determines how much
you must do
• good practice has the potential to go beyond
compliance with the duty to provide better
outcomes and greater gains for your
community and your organisation
• particularly if you take a more
comprehensive and strategic approach
What a good corporate approach to
equalities and procurement involves
• It is genuinely corporate and strategic - relates to and
refers to your corporate objectives, looks across the
authority for wider (community) benefits, has visible
• It brings together equalities, procurement and service
managers - joint work or at least joint thinking
• It mainstreams equalities considerations into procurement
• It is consistently implemented/used across the organisation
• It addresses all the stages of the procurement process
• It addresses the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
Corporate Need and Strategic Fit
Government Policy
Corporate Plan
and Strategy
Service Plans
Financial Regulations
Authority Contract
Procedure Rules
Public contract regulations
The Procurement
Value Proposition
Community gain
• The procurement should be advancing and contributing
to your organisation’s objectives - in this case those
relating to equality
• Effective demand management should direct use to the
right customer segments
• Benefits realisation should ensure equalities benefits
are not only identified but achieved
• Cost control and reduction can be achieved by
demonstrating that effective equalities management
can result in overall budgetary savings and increased
value for money
The Procurement Cycle and Equality
8. Closure / Review
7. Manage
of Contract
6. Award Contract
5. Tender Evaluation
1. Identify Need
2. Develop Business
3. Define Procurement
Supplier Appraisal
Identifying need
• It is at this early stage that equality issues must
be first considered
• Are the whole range of protected characteristics
being considered?
• Use your knowledge of your communities and
clients to identify diverse needs.
• Considering the likely impact on equality of the
goods/services is a useful way to start developing
the specification
Assessing impact on
equality and procurement
This provides a systematic way of assessing how decisions
about policies, services or functions .
• It helps you decide what to buy
• It enables you to consider right from the start the
equalities impact of what you decide to buy – and how
you buy it
• and indirectly who is likely to be able to bid
It helps you assess relevance and proportionality and provides
evidence of having due regard and therefore legal challenge
• Has the likely impact on equality of the goods/services
been considered?
• Relevant core equality requirements should be highlighted
• How will the equalities-related requirements be evaluated
and measured?
• Does the specification allow for continuous improvement
and change – e.g. the changing demographics of your
The Procurement Business Case
Are relevant equality requirements being considered thoroughly at
the procurement business case stage?
Are all of the criteria normally considered at this stage being
• Strategic fit - does the inclusion of equality and diversity
measures add value to and meet your organisation’s vision and
objectives? If so it is adding benefit?
• Cost/benefits - what are the costs involved and do they justify
the expected benefits. How can these extra benefits be
The Procurement Business Case cont.
• Affordability - can you afford to undertake this or will extra
resources need to be identified elsewhere?
• Achievability - is what you are requesting reasonably achievable
or are you creating unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy? Will it
prevent smaller suppliers bidding?
• Options - what options are available to the organisation and what
impact may they have in terms of addressing Equality and Diversity
• Risk - what are the risks involved and who should be responsible
for them?
Going to Market
• At this stage your organisation will be evaluating your supplier
and market options
• Is supplier diversity considered?
• could you develop diverse and competitive sources of supply
from small firms, ethnic minority businesses, social enterprises
and voluntary and community organisations?
• Have the implications of how you bundle contract requirements
and the way you advertise opportunities (to attract a wider range
of suppliers) been considered?
• If you use PQQs, is a simple one being used for lower value
contracts? Have information requirements been tailored to the
size of supplier?
Going to Market
• Is your organisation thinking how to encourage larger suppliers to
work with smaller sub-contractors who may be better equipped
to provide a service or product for your staff or residents?
• Is it quite clear what you are trying to achieve in your invitation
to tender with regard to equalities?
• and what they will be required to do and monitor?
• sufficient information should be provided to help suppliers
arrive at a suitable submission to meet your requirements
• The criteria used for your evaluation can include equality criteria
but must relate to the subject matter of the contract
• Have equalities contract terms/ clauses been included?
Performance and Contract Management
Has monitoring of equalities requirements and clauses
been included in a rigorous performance monitoring
and management arrangement and this agreed with
the supplier?
• clauses such as those for equality and diversity
requirements can easily be overlooked in the rough
and tumble of contract delivery
• is it clear how shortfalls in expectation will be
dealt with?
• how will poor performance be communicated?
• if you do not take equalities seriously, why should
the supplier?
Performance and Contract Management
Have roles and responsibilities for managing
the relationship with respect to equalities
been defined?
• appropriate training for those who manage the
contract or are involved on a day to day basis
with the suppliers’ staff may be helpful
Performance and Contract Management
Are equalities issues (that relate to the contract) are
systematically and regularly addressed at meetings
with the supplier?
• should equalities staff be regularly involved or
consulted on the contractor’s performance?
• what do users, front line staff, the unions and
others report?
Is the issue of how to continuously improve the
supplier’s equalities performance throughout the
course of the contract and/or (voluntarily)
improvement, across their whole organisation being
Realising the Benefits
• One of the most difficult aspects is actually realizing
the potential benefits that you have identified.
• As part of your performance management process
• are these benefits being identified as targets?
• Are they clearly recorded to demonstrate that
benefits have been realized and contributed to
policy outcomes and the community?
Realising the Benefits (cont.)
• Have benefits gained by the supplier, in terms of
reputational value, of access to a larger workforce pool
and ultimately a wider customer base, been captured
and recognised?
• It is sometimes forgotten in the quest for VfM that not
all added value has a £ sign in front of it. Try to find
ways of recording other benefits such as improved
social relations and reduced social stigma. A number of
tools to measure value have now been developed e.g.
the SROI model…….Try to keep it simple.
End contract / termination
Are proper arrangements in place to deal with end of contract
requirements with regard to equalities, particularly with regard to
staffing matters?
Make sure that any lessons to be learned are identified and applied
to future contracts and equality objectives:
• could future specifications be improved?
• was there enough scope for real benefits to be achieved?
• would different contract terms and conditions have been more
• could performance management have been more effective?
Were you able to play your role fully in delivering this aspect of
the contract? If not, what changes are needed in the process?
Barriers to effective implementation
• EU regulations do not allow it
• equalities are often not relevant
• building equalities into procurement is not compatible with VFM and
• doing so places burdens on suppliers and public bodies
Organisational/cultural factors:
• who is responsible for compliance?
- need for clear corporate approach and consistent processes
• silos – between departments and partners - differing views
These can all be overcome

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