Mainstreaming equality considerations within procurement

New guidance has been published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to help commissioners and procurers in considering how to ensure compliance with their public sector equality duty (PSED) obligations at different stages of the procurement lifecycle.

The PSED, which is a continuing duty deriving from the Equality Act 2010, requires public authorities and any organisation carrying out a public function (including the private and voluntary sector) to have ‘due regard to’ (in other words, consciously consider, including in their decisions) the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.

The guide, and other resources on the EHRC website, identify and recommend that the PSED be factored in to procurement policies and procedures, business case planning and each subsequent stage of the procurement process. While relevance and proportionality are the key guiding principles in deciding if, when and how equality should be taken account, it is extremely important that the duty is considered…

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