Ethical Procurement Policies
Many charities have introduced ethical procurement policies. These typically set out the standards which charities require from their suppliers, sub-contractors and sometimes also governments and communities.
The standards may include the following requirements:
- Suppliers must comply with the law
- Suppliers must provide a safe and healthy working environment
- Suppliers shall provide acceptable working conditions, e.g. clear terms of employment, limits on working hours
- Suppliers shall pay a living wage
- Employees must have the right to join unions and/or bargain collectively
- Suppliers shall comply with environmental regulations (Environmental concerns may also be covered in a Sustainable Procurement Policy.)
- Suppliers must respect human rights, e.g., they shall not use indentured labour, they shall not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, etc.
Communicaton and Monitoring
These considerations may not only be relevant in third world countries like Bangladesh, but also in this country.
It is important that organisations communicate their policies clearly to potential suppliers.
Monitoring compliance is much more difficult if you are dealing with suppliers in distant countries. Where resources permit, the most effective strategy may be to engage with suppliers and to encourage them to improve their standards.