Recognising responsible procurement in London
The Mayor of London’s £3 billion direct annual procurement spend is managed by the Greater London Authority (GLA) group, considered one of the leading UK public sector organisations in responsible procurement. The contribution of its staff and suppliers in delivering the Responsible Procurement agenda is to be recognised in the Mayor’s new Responsible Procurement Awards.
For the GLA Group, responsible procurement means:
“Pioneering socially, environmentally and economically responsible procurement to deliver improved quality of life and better value for money for our people, our business and our city.”
The Greater London Authority group
The organisations known collectively as the GLA group are the Greater London Authority (GLA), Transport for London (TfL), the London Development Agency (LDA), the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LEFPA) and the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) and Service (MPS).
The GLA group buys a vast array of goods and services, such as tubes, buses and police vehicles, to meet the needs of London’s communities. Through leveraging the GLA group’s purchasing power of over £3bn, and its network of over 7,000 suppliers, the Mayor is leading by example, through the central Responsible Procurement programme, to deliver tangible benefits to London’s economy and living environment and build opportunity for all.
Mayor’s Responsible Procurement Awards
The Mayor’s Responsible Procurement Awards will recognise the excellent work of GLA group staff and suppliers who have used procurement to deliver social and environmental benefits for London.
Richard Barnes, The Deputy Mayor of London and Sponsor of the Responsible Procurement Programme, explains:
“In these challenging times we must reward those who excel in their field. The RP Programme is a great advert for how the public sector can work effectively and efficiently to deliver front line services whilst ensuring that Londoners are included in what it has to offer going forward.”
Separate awards will recognise the following aspects of Responsible Procurement:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Ethical Sourcing
- Equal Life Chances For All
- Supplier Diversity
- Skills and Employment
- Community Benefits
There will also be three awards for an Outstanding Contribution to Responsible Procurement, presented to one member of staff and to one large and one small supplier.
To apply or make a nomination, visit the Responsible Procurement Awards webpage. There is a whole host of information, including details on the application process, category definitions, application forms and top tips on how to submit an impressive entry! GLA group suppliers can submit an application and staff can nominate a colleague or supplier for an award till October 1st 2010.
Expert Panel of Judges
The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges consisting of lead judges from across the GLA Group and independent judges from leading organisations: Ford, Waitrose, the Eden Project, Working Links Limited, City of London, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Sustainable Procurement Limited.
Focus on Responsible Procurement in Practice
The awards will recognise the commitment and actions of both GLA group staff and suppliers in turning the Responsible Procurement policy into action.
An example of translating policy into action is the group’s work on enhancing skills and employment. The Mayor has committed to create over 1,000 apprenticeships per year through GLA group employment and procurement activity alongside improving employment and training opportunities for unemployed Londoners.
At the same time a joint study by Transport for London and the Department for Transport highlighted key skills shortages in the transportation and engineering sectors.
Bringing these two agendas together, the GLA Group established the Strategic Labour Needs and Training (SLNT) project. SLNT works with suppliers to ensure the right capability and competency to deliver contracts, and make any job and training opportunities that arise accessible to Londoners. The project’s approach is to combine new contractual requirements with proactive support from a dedicated Supplier Skills Team. The role of the team is to:
- Assist GLA Group suppliers to gain funding and support from available employment and skills programmes;
- Work with the GLA Group and its supply chain to understand the suppliers’ requirements in terms of SLNT and assist delivery of those requirements;
- Help co-ordinate the various agencies and organisations (including Sector Skills Councils, National Apprenticeship Service, Job Centre Plus etc) that offer skills or employment funding, into one integrated programme;
- Assist suppliers implement, manage and monitor GLA Group suppliers in relation to SLNT requirements.
In 2009/10, the first year of delivery, the team worked with the TfL supply chain to deliver over 640 new apprenticeship positions and 297 worklessness job starts.
The team has to date established a pipeline of over 3,500 supply chain employment and training opportunities covering the next three years. By working closely with the team suppliers have been able to access new pools of labour, and take advantage of existing funding and training provision in London. This helps them to deliver positive outcomes for Londoners, but also add value to their own recruitment and staff development programmes at no additional cost to their business.
Although initially focussing on major capital projects, the team has delivered skills and employment outcomes in facilities management, temporary labour, consultancy and call centre contracts. The skills covered range from computer assisted design to bicycle mechanics!
In 2010/11 the team is increasing its remit to support the wider GLA group. To support the enlarged and more diverse pool of suppliers this brings, the team has entered into a partnership with the National apprenticeship Service (NAS). Under this partnership two placements from the NAS employer services team have joined us to support our suppliers in developing and delivering apprenticeship schemes relevant to their business.
Sharing learning with stakeholders
The GLA group makes a particular effort to share the tools and techniques of the Responsible Procurement Programme with its stakeholders.
The Responsible Procurement eLearning toolkit was developed to meet the needs of buyers and those responsible for procurement across the public sector. This free to use online tool, provides users with an introduction to Responsible Procurement, taking around 45 minutes to complete and including a short quiz.
To support the business community, a supplier module of the eLearning tool was launched in June. The Responsible Procurement programme also undertook its second supplier survey in March – to identify the knowledge of the RP Programme with the existing supply base, along with raising awareness of the support programmes the team promotes and to seek there views on GLA group procurement processes.
A range of best practice case studies highlight the positive impact that the programme has delivered across the GLA group. These, along with the eLearning tool and further information on the RP Programme are available on the Responsible Procurement website.
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