Responsible Procurement and Commissioning (RPC)
Our Responsible Procurement and Commissioning Strategy aims to leverage the potential of the council’s spend and supplier relationships to minimise the risk of harm to workers, public health and the environment and to maximise opportunities for our residents, local organisations and wider community. It seeks to contribute towards sustainable development by embracing circular economy principles, helping to build a resilient and green economy and ensuring a fair and equitable society. By working in partnership with our suppliers, we will deliver more innovative, better value goods, services and works.
Procurement Westminster spends over £550 million annually acquiring goods, works and services from third parties. In the public sector, procurement activity is subject to a legal framework which encourages free and open competition and value for money, in line with internationally and nationally agreed obligations and regulations.
However, procurement can also be used as a policy driver by selecting and scoring suppliers based on their current performance and future commitments to protecting the environment, providing social value and operating ethically. We intend to maximise the impact of our significant spend by integrating relevant responsible business requirements and incentives in every tender we develop and each framework we use.
Commissioners of public services are required to consider how social, economic and environmental benefits can be secured for local communities through procurement. This includes helping local communities recover from the impact of COVID-19, creating new jobs and skills, fighting climate change, reducing waste, driving equal opportunity, tackling workforce inequality and improving health and wellbeing and community integration. The Council’s existing Social Value programme engages with suppliers to match the socio-economic needs of residents with council suppliers delivering their Social Value objectives. They are provided with support for the duration of the contract to monitor and evaluate the social impact delivered across the borough.
A ‘Responsible Business’ is one which uses its decision-making processes across all business activities to minimise negative impacts and deliver positive environmental, social, ethical and economic benefits to all stakeholders, in a transparent way. To ensure alignment with public and private sector responsible business practices in the UK and globally, the responsible business focus of this strategy is based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Developed in 2015 by the UN General Assembly and intended to be achieved by 2030, the SDGs are a collection of global goals designed to be a blueprint for achievng a better and more sustainable future for all.
This covers the whole lifecycle from planning procurement activity to monitoring services. For responsible procurement and commissioning (RPC) to be effective, it is vital that RPC principles are considered when services are planned and as part of contract management. Promises made by suppliers in tenders must be monitored by contract managers and delivery facilitated by council sta wherever possible.