Congress welcomed the Scottish Government’s
commitment to new legislation on public
procurement and called on them to work
with the STUC to shift the focus from
cost to quality and sustainability in
public sector contracts.
include an end to tax avoidance by
companies delivering public sector contracts,
leading to jobs and pension provision
for workers. Companies who blacklist
workers should be barred from such
contracts and there should be a commitment
tendering companies to pay the living
UNISON's Jane Aitchison told delegates:
"There is a very simple, but very important,
principle at the heart of this composite.
Public money should be spent for Public
"We believe every penny should
be spent with as wide a set of social
in mind as possible.
As the composite states – public
procurement accounts for £11bn
of spending a year. We should be absolutely
clear that we intend to get as much social
our money as is possible.
"So when Government or public bodies
are deciding on procurement they should
able to give preference to suppliers
who will pay a living wage. They should
be allowed to specify the provision of
apprenticeships and sustainable
"They should be allowed to
insist on environmentally friendly working
practices. And Congress while public
bodies – when
they are spending our money – should
be allowed to specify what should happen – they
should be allowed to specify what does
"Companies should be made well
aware that if they are involved in blacklisting.
- they will be excluded from bidding for public contracts. Not a penny of public
money for blacklisters – that’s
a message we must make the Scottish Government
listen to", said Jane.
"Congress - it happens elsewhere - Helsinki
and Paris both use mechanisms that ensure
that companies have to be corporate citizens
rather than corporate exiles before they
get public money.
If the political will exists - it can
"But Congress we might need to
provide that political will. Before the
election we were promised a Sustainable
Procurement Bill - instead
the we get a Procurement Reform Bill and an obvious desire on the part
of ministers to provide 'opportunities for Scottish Business'. Those businesses
are already saying that the Bill should
include a 'right
to bid' for any service or contract.
"Congress - we need a procurement
bill that will work for Scotland’s
not a privatisers charter."
17 April 2013