24/09/2019

The Cabinet Office has published Procurement Policy Note 05/19 “Tackling Modern Slavery in Government Supply Chains” (September 2019).

Two supporting documents have been published together with PPN 05/19:

  • Guide: Tackling Modern Slavery in Government Supply Chains – A guide for Commercial and Procurement Professionals (46 pages)
  • Quick Reference Guide: Tackling Modern Slavery in Government Supply Chains (4 pages)

“In-Scope Organisations”[1] are required to begin to take action to apply PPN 05/19 to existing contracts, and to new procurement activity from 1 October 2019.

PPN 05/19 states that In-Scope Organisations must use the guidance to identify and manage risks in both existing contracts and new procurement activity. They must ensure that relevant procurement, commercial and front-line staff receive awareness training on how to identify modern slavery and steps to tackle it effectively, including reporting it through appropriate channels. In-Scope Organisations are reminded of the availability of the Modern Slavery Helpline available by telephone or online.

It also confirms that the Government has committed to voluntarily publishing a Modern Slavery Statement in December 2019 to mirror the requirements on businesses to publish statements under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Guide is divided into six sections and has five Annexes (A to E).

Sections

Annexes

1: Introduction

2: Identifying and Managing Risks in New Procurements

3: Understanding the Risk

4: Taking Action When Victims of Modern Slavery are Identified

5: Training

6: Acknowledgements

A: Examples of Model Questions for Suppliers in respect of the workers and supply chain that will deliver the contract

B: Supplier Audits: Points to Consider

C: Modern Slavery Contract Clause

D: Remedial Action Plan Blueprint: An Example Template

E: Case Studies

 

Section 1: Introduction
This section provides context and emphasises the importance of proportionality in applying the Guide, both in terms of size of the contract and, on existing contracts, the size of the supplier. Consideration must be given at all times to the impact of implementing the Guide on SMEs and VCSEs[2], meaning that actions must be proportionate, not create unnecessary barriers to participation or place unnecessary burdens on such organisations when assessing risk in existing contracts.

Section 2: Identifying and Managing Risks in New Procurements
This section looks at how modern slavery risks can be addressed during the procurement process.

There is a Procurement Planning Checklist for pre-procurement -including early market engagement and specifications, selection, award and contract management stages followed by more detailed commentary on each of those stages. There are suggestions for questions which may be asked of bidders in the event that risk of modern slavery has been identified, including sample questions on recruitment set out in Annex A. Contracting authorities must ensure that they scenario-test the evaluation matrix and scoring matrix.

There is commentary on the use of contract conditions and explanation of possible additional clauses, including Annex C which is an example of a modern slavery contract clause. Contract management is also addressed, with notes on monitoring, ongoing audit including Annex B on Supplier Audit and reference to Annex D which sets out a Remedial Action Plan template for when an occurrence of modern slavery has been identified. There are also notes on working with suppliers to mitigate risks, contract termination and the importance of the impact of a contracting authority’s decisions on the supply chain, which may contribute to increased modern slavery risks.

Section 3: Understanding the Risk/Assessing risks in existing contracts
This section sets out how to tackle modern slavery risks in existing contracts.

Again, it is emphasised that where suppliers are SMEs or VCSEs the approach must be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary burdens on these types of suppliers are avoided.

This section includes guidance on: categorising existing contracts based on risk – with construction, electronics manufacturing, textiles and healthcare identified as high risk; supply chain mapping, including links to various assessment tools; using contract management to manage risks and the importance of regular follow up.

Section 4: Taking Action When Victims of Modern Slavery are Identified
This section looks at when and how to deal with the situation where victims of modern slavery are identified, including, in general, the need for collaborative working with the supplier as well as with enforcement agencies.

Section 5: Training
This section confirms the requirement for staff training and provides links to training sources.

 

You can access the full PPN and supporting documents from the PPN website

 

[1] In-Scope Organisations, for the purposes of PPN 05/19, are all Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies, and Non-Departmental Bodies

[2] SMEs- Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, VCSEs – Voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.