Sustainable procurement is a process whereby organisations will meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment. See Footnote 1
Accordingly, GCHQ has adopted the following Sustainable Procurement principles:
- GCHQ will adopt Sustainable Procurement Practices in line with the Sustainable Procurement Task Force National Action Plan.
- In order to provide the widest possible access to GCHQ contract opportunities for suppliers all GCHQ purchases will be by free and open competition unless there are compelling reasons why this should not be the case.
- All GCHQ procurement will be based on value for money, having due regard to propriety and regularity. Value for money is defined as the optimum combination of whole life cost and quality (fitness for purpose) to meet the User's requirement.
- GCHQ will, wherever practicable, adhere to European Treaty-based principles of non-discrimination, equal treatment, transparency, mutual recognition and proportionality.
- GCHQ will build Sustainable Development principles into Departmental plans and strategies and specifically Technical Specifications will, where appropriate, include sustainability criteria.
- Tender evaluations will take account of sustainability criteria identified in the specifications but not to the detriment of Principles 3 and 4 above.
- Whilst EU Public Procurement Regulations do not allow GCHQ to give preference to small and medium enterprises or minority or ethnic businesses GCHQ will, where appropriate, engage with such organisations to aid their awareness of doing business with GCHQ.
- GCHQ shall ensure, as far as it is able, that all suppliers act in accordance with the law and contracts will not be placed with companies known to consistently infringe legislation with an impact on sustainability issues (e.g. Health and Safety at Work Act, Race Relations Act).
- GCHQ shall ensure that non-hazardous waste is disposed of in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part II and that only appropriate companies holding a waste management/disposal licence (or exempt from holding such a licence) and/or registered as a carrier of controlled waste are engaged.
Sustainable Procurement published by DEFRA in June 2006 - Procuring the Future - The Sustainable Procurement Task Force National Action Plan