Scottish Borders Council has agreed a new sustainable procurement charter, supporting small and medium sized businesses and the local community.
The charter has been developed to promote social, economic and environmental best practice in all of the council’s procurement activities. The procurement strategy is aimed at achieving a “mixed economy of suppliers” to develop the local rural market, especially micro, small and medium sized businesses and third sector organisations.
“This approach includes simplified and standardised public sector procurement practices, consideration of lotting and a range of hands-on assistance to the local supply chain to help reduce any barriers to involvement in procurement opportunities,” says the charter.
A set of principles is included, detailing its commitment to suppliers and the policies suppliers are expected to comply with.
It acknowledges the role of developing innovative solutions to help create local jobs, sustainability and market development. The council will consider using new EU procedure, such as European Innovation Partnerships, to support the creation of new services and technologies, states the charter.
Fair trade products will be promoted across all council services, and awareness will be raised among council staff and customers, embedding fair trade into contracts with suppliers.
The adoption by suppliers of the Scottish Living Wage will also be encouraged, and a commitment to pay invoices within 30 days, both by the council and contracted suppliers.
Councillor John Mitchell, depute leader with responsibility for finance said: “This new Sustainable Procurement Charter sets out a number of key values, including fair work practices, prompt payment of invoices and health and safety compliance, which the council will adhere to and many of which we will require our suppliers to also demonstrate.”
“Using the opportunities from the council’s procurement activities, our Sustainable Procurement Charter and Community Benefits procurement policy should ensure that the local economy and communities benefit as much as possible from the Council’s contracts with external suppliers.”