Purchasing policies and standards

Health and safety

All organisations are required to comply with the duties imposed upon them by the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and subordinate legislation.

Any business employing five or more people, by law, have to prepare and bring to the attention of its employees a written health and safety policy statement.

A health and safety policy should contain the following:

  • general policy statement - a statement outlining the company's commitment to health and safety, signed and dated by the most senior company member
  • organisation - how the company is organised for health & safety. e.g. lines for communication, specific duties/responsibilities assigned within the organisation
  • arrangements - procedures in place for ensuring employees health and safety at work. e.g. should be appropriate to the work the company is applying for
  • any business employing less than 5 people, must be able to supply copies of policies, procedures, risk assessments etc relevant to the work applied for

Environmental issues

Where practicable, goods and services will be procured in line with 3 key considerations.

1. Environmentally and ethically sound

The procurement of goods and services which have the least environmental impact in terms of their production, delivery, use and disposal should be considered where appropriate. The procurement of ethically sound products should be considered in certain circumstances eg: non-animal tested cleaning product.

2. Local economy

Goods and services sourced from the local businesses will not only support and boost the local economy but will reduce the environmental impact and costs associated with their transportation.

3. Best value

Procurements should be based upon the achievement of best value with pricing, quality, performance, availability, environmental sustainability and safety considerations forming part of the procurement decision.

Before undertaking any procurement activity, the Council will seek to ensure that the environmental dimension is fully considered and is viewed as an integral part of the process. This will entail specification development, appropriate pre-tender, ender evaluation criteria and contract conditions that give sufficient prominence to environmental and sustainability issues.

Additionally, contract monitoring methods will be established to ensure that the desired environmental impact actually takes place.

Promoting diversity

Procurement is a significant function that can advance and support the Council's promotion of diversity issues. This includes looking at how and where we advertise contract opportunities, ensuring Hackney's contract requirements encourage so far as is possible participation from voluntary organisations, small businesses, local and black and minority ethic owned firms, and reviewing specifications to ensure they address the needs of Hackney's diverse community.

We expect that our suppliers will use all reasonable endeavours to make sure that their equal opportunities policies comply with all statutory obligations as regards discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, cultural or ethnic origin, marital status, gender, age, disability, religion, gender reassignment or sexual orientation and take due account of the guidance in relation to:

  • the provision of services
  • the recruitment or promotion of staff employed or to be employed in the provision of the services
  • the training of staff employed or to be employed in the provision of the services

In the performance of a contract we expect that a supplier will ensure that its employees, agents and contractors comply with the best professional practice in relation to equal opportunities and in particular with:

All relevant legislation as well as statutory and other official guidance and codes of practice; and
The Council's own equal opportunities policies, procedures and responsibilities.

A supplier must, as far as practicable and to the Council's satisfaction, provide at its own expense all such facilities necessary to enable any disabled person or employee or agent of the Council to visit the contractor where the services are being provided or at any of the contractor's other premises, for any purpose relating to the a contact with the Council.

Probity and ethical standards

Fair competition

The competitive processes set out in the Council's contract standing orders and procurement manual are not only designed to obtain the best value for money for the Council but also provide a structure for ensuring that potential suppliers are treated fairly.

Confidentiality of information

Information on prices tendered or innovative proposals could provide a commercial advantage for competitors which is provided by suppliers and potential suppliers shall be treated as confidential to the Council to the extent permitted under law.


Our suppliers must not solicit or accept any gratuity, tip or any other form of money taking or reward, collection or charge for any goods, works or services other than charges properly approved within its contract.

Non collusive tendering

All tenders must be bona fide and not be fixed or adjusted by or under, or in accordance with, any agreement or arrangement with any other person. It is also required that tenderers will not at any time before the hour and date specified for the return of any tender:

a) communicate to a person other than the person calling for those tenders the amount or approximate amount of the proposed tender, except where the disclosure, in confidence, of the approximate amount of the tender was necessary to obtain insurance premium quotations required for the preparation of the tender.

b) enter into any agreement or arrangement with any other person that they shall refrain from tendering or as to the amount of any tender to be submitted.

c) offer or pay, or give or agree to pay or give any sum of money or valuable consideration directly or indirectly to any person for doing or having done or causing or having caused to be done in relation to any other tender or proposed tender for the said work any act or thing of the sort described above.

Page updated: 10/07/2019 10:11:01