Equality in Procurement and Contracts
The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on public bodies to prevent discrimination in all aspects of service provision, including procurement. It provides a clear and positive legal duty to eliminate discrimination and to ensuring equality of opportunity and good relations between different groups.
Although EastendHomes is not a public body, the Homes & Communities Agency expects all housing providers to demonstrate compliance and commitment in terms of the duties enshrined in the legislation. EastendHomes is committed to encouraging contractors and other partners working with us to achieve good practice in terms of equality of opportunity and diversity.
The best employers acknowledge that there is a need to reach the skills of all sections of the workforce. Employers recognise and can demonstrate that a diverse workforce can give a competitive edge in meeting the demands of a diverse customer base.
EastendHomes aims to ensure that procurement processes demonstrate a serious commitment to achieving equality in respect of all our suppliers and contractors. We aim to demonstrate this in the questions we ask, in the advice we provide and by making sure that contractual arrangements actively promote equality and diversity.
Under UK law, public bodies must consider equal opportunities in their contracts. EastendHomes with therefore encourage all our suppliers to introduce appropriate equal opportunities policies and procedures.
Equality in the tendering process
In evaluating tenders, EastendHomes will give positive consideration to suppliers who can demonstrate that they understand their responsibilities and operate with due regard to the legislation.
We need to be sure that they have no history of discrimination (or if they have that this has been rectified) and for some contracts we will need to make sure that suppliers have the capacity to meet the race equality standards required to deliver the contract.
Contractors may be required to complete and submit a pre-qualification questionnaire as part of the tender process. This asks a number of questions about equality. The answers will be used to assess compliance with statutory regulations and their approach to equality.
If equality is a core requirement of the contract, contractors may be asked to give additional evidence to support their tender submission, such as information about the way that they approach race equality in their supply chain.
If the contract has direct equality implications, requirements will be built into the tender specification and contract conditions for the service.