Equality and diversity in procurementLast updated: 24 May 2012 11:56 UK
The Council is committed to an Equalities and Diversity Policy covering colour, ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender and gender reassignment. An important part of this commitment is encouraging companies and other organisations which bid for Council services to practise equalities and diversity in employment and service delivery.
The Council provides a wide range of services to residents, visitors and businesses within the City. In some cases these are provided directly by the Council but in many cases our business partners provide these. The people to whom these services are delivered come from all sections of society - men and women, young and old, people with disabilities, gay men and lesbians, and people from all ethnic groups, faiths and religions. As such, the services provided to them should be geared to their diverse needs, no matter who actually deliverers them, a view which is embedded within our Responsible Procurement Policy.
A number of Acts contain various prohibitions on discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and disability in the provision of goods, facilities and services, and as such the Council expects its business partners to comply with all the relevant legislation, incorporating these as a requirement within all its contracts.
The Race Relations Act 1976 - as amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 now outlaws discrimination in all Council functions, including procurement.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Amendments 2005 - requires anyone who provides goods and/or services to comply with its provisions no matter how many people they employ.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Amendments 1986 - outlaws discrimination on grounds of gender, although not currently a statutory duty on local authorities, it is consistent with the Council’s Equalities and Diversity Policy.
The Procurement Approach
The Council will take into account within its tender evaluation and contracting processes, a potential contractor’s approach to equalities in terms of its employment practises and service delivery, which will also be monitored and managed during the life of each contract.
The Council will check a contractor’s compliance with equality and diversity issues in two ways:
- Prior to Contract Award - by asking equalities questions either prior to or during the tender process. If following evaluation the response does not satisfy the Council’s criteria, the firm may not be shortlist or awarded a contract.
- After Contract Award - by including contract conditions on equality in all Council contracts and by monitoring a contractor’s performance and compliance with those conditions.
The following organisations can be contacted for information and advice on equal opportunities in employment.
Equalities and Human Rights Commission
England - 0845 604 6610
Web site: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/
The Low Pay Commission
London WC18 4AD
General enquiries: 020 7271 0450