Monday, 13 February 2012

Sustainable procurement risk

Tell me what would you do if you read this statement in an ITT:

The [organisation] is committed to sustainable procurement and would wish to see tenderers adopt a positive environmental approach.  Information and guidance about how to pursue a more sustainable future is available from [central government portal]1
You could
look at the specification to see if sustainability is reflected in the definition of the requirement or how it is delivered. 

You could look at the evaluation criteria to see if they reflect the commitment to sustainable procurement.

You could look at the organisation's website to see if it states a commitment to sustainability, an environmental policy or environmental management system.

You could look at it's Procurement Policy to see what it says.

You could reflect on the approach to prequalification to see if any preference was reflected there.

You could consider how difficult it is for SMEs, TSOs and BEMs to trade with the organisation.

You could look at the Procurement Key Perfromnace Indicators to see if they reflect the commitment to sustainable procurement.

You could ring up the organisation and ask how the organisation's commitment is, or will be, reflected.

You could wait for the debriefing and ask how the commitment to sustainable procurement was reflected.

Let me tell you, I have seen the above commitment in an ITT. 

I have probed and found no illumination in any of the above.

What would the organisation expect to see from tenderers?

Potentially a risk of tenderers asking, 'Why?'

Potentially and even greater risk of tenderers saying, 'Why not?'

1. N.B. A random selection of ITTs,  from other organisations, indicates that the above example is by no means unique.

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