Local authorities must act within their statutory powers, but they act independently of central government and are accountable to their electorate.
Councils are responsible for funding their local services, and they make contracting and procurement decisions according to what is best for those services in line with legal requirements (such as the Public Contract Regulations 2015) and their own local policy considerations.
We work closely with the sector to make sure councils are properly supported to improve and reform, drive efficiency and enhance effectiveness and resilience
In September 2019 Cabinet Office published new guidance to help government departments identify and avoid the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains during procurement processes. The detailed guidance advocates a proportionate, risk-based approach, setting out specific measures to be adopted at each stage of the commercial life-cycle, from pre-procurement to contract management. It also sets out how existing contracts can be risk assessed and suggests measures to manage the risks identified.
Whilst this is not mandatory for local government, many councils will use these as guidance to support or augment their procurement and commissioning policy development and practice or will develop their own tailored approach to consider potential risks such as inequality or poor working conditions in their supply chains.
Furthermore, for local authorities who use the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to purchase IT , CCS has partnered with Electronics Watch, a multi-stakeholder initiative, to improve conditions for workers at factory level in government ICT hardware supply chains. Electronics Watch’s work has led to workers in government supply chains being reimbursed for recruitment fees they paid.