Scottish procurement policy handbook

This handbook provides guidance on the rules and policies that apply to the procurement activities of public bodies in Scotland and highlights some key legal obligations.

14. Human rights

Suppliers that are awarded public contracts should take a robust approach to human rights in all parts of their business including their supply chain. Guidance on due diligence: human rights sets out how the Scottish Government, Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies should undertake appropriate due diligence on companies, including their human rights record, before entering into an investment relationship with them. Other public bodies are encouraged to undertake an assessment of any company, including any parent or subsidiary, before becoming involved in a business arrangement with them, to establish if they have been associated with human rights abuses anywhere in the world.

Public bodies should consider early in the process whether their procurement raises any concerns regarding human rights so that relevant and proportionate measures can be taken to help reduce the likelihood of human rights issues occurring in their contract.

There are a number of measures in the 2015 Regulations and the 2016 Regulations aimed at ensuring suppliers’ compliance with environmental, social, and employment laws when performing public contracts:

Public bodies are encouraged to consider human rights related requirements on a case-by-case basis, in a way which is relevant and proportionate to each contract. This approach enables Procurement Officers to do what will have the greatest impact in a particular contract. This includes market analysis which assesses value and risk and accounts for the nature of goods, services or works being bought. The Sustainable Procurement Tools and guidance have been designed to help public bodies comply with policy and legislation, including how to take an ethical approach to procurement activity. They take account of human rights considerations including the UN Guiding Principles, human trafficking and exploitation, and conflict minerals.



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