17 July 2003 | Colleen Harris
The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) is urging public authority purchasers to check their suppliers to make sure they are promoting equal opportunities among their employees.
In a guide launched this week, the CRE sets out ways for authorities to meet the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
Part one is for government authorities in England, Scotland and Wales; part two targets goods, works and services suppliers in the private and voluntary sectors.
The CRE says any company hoping to do business with a public authority must meet the equality requirements in the contract.
The guide, Race Equality and Procurement in Local Government: a gude to meeting the duty to promote race equality, says the benefits are worth the short-term costs.
"Strength in the area of race equality goes hand in hand with good management practice, whether that's on employment or procuring goods and services," said Trevor Phillips, the CRE's chair.
"So it comes as no surprise to me that the project led to a marked improvement in human resource policies."
Sasha Barton, policy officer at the CRE, told SM: "The guide may apply, for example, to any contract involving face-to-face contact with the public, such as in catering services.
"The law is moving in this direction and in the longer term, everyone will have to do this."· To order a copy priced at £15, visit The Stationery Office at www.tso.co.uk, quoting the isbn number 185 442 525 0.