Public Sector Equality Duty - operation review: consultation analysis

Independent analysis of consultation responses to the Scottish Government Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) Review. The consultation ran from 13 December 2021 to 11 April 2022.

10 Proposal 7


10.1 Context

As per Proposal 1, the Scottish Government proposes to require listed authorities to set out how they plan to meet all of their duties, and then subsequently to report on how they have met and used all of their duties, as part of their overarching mainstreaming reporting obligation. This would include the duty on procurement, and therefore satisfy the suggestions put forward by stakeholders to strengthen the procurement duty by implementing a publication aspect.

The Scottish Government would welcome views on the call from stakeholders to require that award and tender specifications should stipulate that all outputs of any work must meet the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and specify examples.

10.2 Question 7.1 - Procurement

What are your views on our proposal and call for views in relation to procurement?

Most respondents answered Question 7.1 (85%).

10.2.1 Respondents who support the proposal

Respondents are generally in favour of the Scottish Government proposal relating to procurement, and the main themes to emerge from respondents who respond in this way are outlined below.

Theme 1: Procurement is an important lever to influence equality

Many respondents note that procurement is an important lever to influence equality in the private sector, and that steps to further embed equality into procurement processes are considered sensible and appropriate.

Theme 2: Proportionality is welcomed

A common theme among listed authorities (and other organisations) is that they welcome the Scottish Government's recognition of the importance of proportionality with regards to increased procurement requirements.

These respondents feel that overly prescriptive procurement requirements could deter some service providers who lack the expertise to comply with any new requirements from submitting tenders. Many respondents refer to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including the third sector, and highlight concerns relating to the potential for the proposal to place an increased administrative burden on smaller businesses and organisations.

10.2.2 Respondents who identify issues or concerns

In the main listed authorities raise some issues or concerns regarding the Scottish Government proposal relating to procurement.

Theme 1: Equality is already embedded into procurement

Some listed authorities note in their consultation response that they are already required to give due regard to the PSED in their procurement duties, and that the proposal could result in duplication of effort.

Theme 2: Additional resources to support implementation

Some respondents, mainly listed authorities but also one equality advocacy group, note that additional resources may be required to help listed authorities and businesses comply with any new requirements. Suggestions included:

  • Guidance and best practice examples.
  • Training and financial resources for listed authorities.
  • Training for SMEs.

10.2.3 Respondents who do not support the proposal

Few respondents do not support the Scottish Government proposal relating to procurement. The reasons provided by these respondents echo the themes described in Section 10.2.2.



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