Australian procurement managers - ill-prepared for new modern slavery rules

CIPS 12 June 2018

80 per cent of respondents identified reputational risk as the most concerning factor in finding modern slavery in their organisation’s supply chain.

CIPS has today announced the findings of its first Australian Modern Slavery Survey, which reveals most procurement managers are ill-prepared for the new Government requirements.

  • 45 per cent of procurement managers describe the requirement as a timely and necessary piece of legislation, but a quarter of all respondents are concerned it will ultimately have little impact.
  • More than 40 per cent (40.1 per cent) of procurement managers don’t think their organisation would be able to release a statement based on current monitoring, policies and supply chain management practices. More than a quarter (28.8 per cent) don’t know if they could.
  • To date, 20 per cent of organisations haven’t taken any measures to ensure a slavery free supply chain
  • Nearly 20 per cent (19.9 per cent) of those surveyed do not know who in their organisation is ultimately responsible for ensuring their supply chain is free of modern slavery and human trafficking
  • 80 per cent of respondents identified reputational risk as the most concerning factor in finding modern slavery in their organisation’s supply chain.

The online survey, carried out over a four-week period in April to May 2018, coincided with the Government’s 2018 budget announcement last week, aimed at strengthening Australia’s response to modern slavery. The new reporting requirement will oblige more than 3,000 large corporations and other entities to publish annual public statements on their actions to address modern slavery in their supply chains and operations.

Mark Lamb, CIPS General ManagerAsia Pacific said that despite concerns about local readiness to comply, there is overwhelming support within the procurement and supply chain community to the legislation. Mr Lamb revealed, “According to our survey, 80 per cent of procurement managers in Australia consider the introduction of requirements as a step in the right direction in stamping out modern slavery.”

“More than 40 per cent of those surveyed have put clear procurement policies in place. However, one in five of Australian procurement leaders haven’t taken any measure at all to secure their supply chains.”

Mr Lamb believes the reason for this is a lack of awareness and training. Mr Lamb said, “Our research shows that more than half (54.9 per cent) of managers lack confidence that their supply chain managers have sufficient skills and expertise to minimise the occurrence of modern slavery in their supply chains.”

“CIPS firmly believes that accountability for inadequate or exposed supply chains sits firmly with procurement professionals. CIPS is leading the way on raising awareness of modern slavery in supply chain, as well as equipping procurement and supply management professionals with the necessary tools and guidance to address this issue in their own organisations,’ Mr Lamb added.


For further information please contact:

Neeley Williams

Hill+Knowlton Strategies for CIPS Australia

T: +61 434 742 551


About the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is the world’s largest procurement and supply professional organisation.  It is the worldwide centre of excellence on procurement and supply management issues.  CIPS has a global community of over 200,000 in 150 different countries and 10,000 in the Australasia region alone, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.  The activities of procurement and supply chain professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisation and CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability. | T: @CIPSAsiaPacific | LI: @CIPS Australasia

About the survey

The survey was conducted online via SurveyGizmo and managed by CIPS Australasia, over a four-week period between 11 April 2018 and 13 May 2018. 195 respondents completed the survey. 72.3 per cent of respondents have an annual turnover of $100million.

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