Wednesday, 17 April 2013

E-Briefing for MSPs on today's Public Procurement Reform debate

17 April 2013
MSPs have been asked by the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee for their views on
"the efficacy of current public procurement processes and on the scope and potential for improvements to be made to these processes", to inform future work on the proposed Procurement Reform Bill.

UNISON Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to use the Bill to support innovative action against tax dodging and the use of tax havens, banning companies involved in tax dodging from public contracts.

We urge members to highlight the following ways in which procurement processes could be improved, to ensure that public spending on procurement is used to deliver important social, economic and environmental benefits, including improved protection for workers.

The Bill should be used to promote:

  • labour rights and workforce protections, such as the PPP Protocol and Section 52 Guidance (both of which must now be urgently reviewed and extended), and compliance with the Equality Act

  • a tax justice approach, where, using appropriate legal advice, the best options are found to bar companies using tax havens and/or other forms of tax dodging from being eligible for public contracts

  • a positive employment agenda – with companies which do not comply with a range of other certain basic standards not permitted to tender for public contracts (for example the blacklisting of trade unionists in the construction industry should lead to exclusions)

  • the Scottish Living Wage, both for directly employed staff and for employees working for contractors

  • sustainable procurement across the public sector, ensuring that public procurement policies contribute properly to Scotland meeting its climate change targets and support a ‘Just Transition’ to a low carbon economy

Collective Concerns voiced by civil society

Given the far-reaching implications of this Bill, UNISON Scotland is pleased to join with large civil society coalitions in Scotland – Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, Scottish Fair Trade Forum and Enough Food for Everyone IF – to highlight our joint concerns about the direction the proposed Bill is taking and to call for social, environmental and ethical objectives issues to be at the heart of this important piece of legislation. 
UNISON's response to the Scottish Government Procurement Reform Bill consultation.
UNISON's tax justice proposals for the Procurement Reform Bill.

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