26 February 2007 | Antony Barton
A revised procurement strategy for Broxbourne Borough Council has a new emphasis on ethical and socially responsible purchasing.
The document, which sets out the Hertfordshire authority's purchasing strategy for 2007-09, recognises that whole-life costing is vital to securing best value while considering sustainability. It seeks to promote equality and diversity by reducing "barriers that exist for suppliers and contractors within this context". Yet it does not specify how it will do this. Details are expected in April with the publication of a revised guide to procurement procedures.
The authority also plans to promote the sourcing of local goods and services, while ensuring best quality and value for money.
In addition, the document states that while specifications for tenders cannot stipulate that fair trade goods and services have to be supplied, the council can make it clear in advertisements and invitations to tender that fair trade options can be included. Where two options provide equally good value the fair trade option would probably be favoured.
A council spokesman told SM that its first procurement strategy, published in 2001, did not include references to ethical and socially responsible purchasing because the issues "were less in the public eye". He said it was good practice to include such issues and this meets the objectives of the council's new community plan for 2007-09, which aims to promote local businesses and reduce its environmental impact.
The revised procurement strategy will be available on the council's website later this week.