06 July 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Two multi-million pound contracts to be awarded this summer will be among the first to include terms covering supplier diversity.
Transport for London (TfL), which runs the capital's transport system, plans to award a £350 million deal for Tube carriages and a £600 million contract for infrastructure for the extended East London Line by the end of September.
Faiza Rasheed, head of policy, strategy and best practice unit, group procurement, said TfL is breaking new ground as the first European public-sector transport organisation to apply contract conditions in the tender to encourage diverse suppliers.
Bidders had to show an equality policy and plans for workforce diversity training, supplier diversity and communications.
"If they failed to meet the requirements, they were unable to proceed to the next stage of the bidding process," she said.
"Our challenge was to comply with EU and UK procurement legislation, and to balance this with supplier diversity."
The first phase of the project will be delivered by June 2010.