The Brief

A Guide to supporting Better Work through Procurement

Public sector contracts awarded for goods and services represent billions of pounds of investment each year. Traditional procurement procedures have sought best value for the public purse, but procurement power might also be used to enhance the quality of work in our communities. For example, by awarding procurement contracts to organisations committed to practices that deliver more fulfilling work – such as those who pay a Living Wage, or who can demonstrate progressive and inclusive hiring and workplace policies. However, despite widespread interest and support for this idea, public bodies face a range of strategic, practical and legal considerations to implement effective ‘good work procurement’ strategies.

Since 2017, the Trust has been working with academic partners in the North East of England, to explore how the potential of using public sector procurement powers to encourage ‘good work’ might be realised.

The report Making Procurement Work for All showcased qualitative research with stakeholders in the North East of England carried out by the Institute of Local Governance at Durham University, exploring the current and potential use of ‘good work procurement’ in the region.

Our Guide to Good Work Procurement is a bite-sized guide intended to support public sector organisations looking to use their powers of procurement to promote better work. Written by Carnegie Associates Dr Deborah Harrison and Philip Edwards, it is based on regional development work in the North East of England as well as learning from national examples.

The Trust will continue its work supporting the development and implementation of Good Work Procurement Strategies, in the North East region and nationally across the UK, in 2020. We would like to hear from organisations around the UK engaging with and advancing the ideas in this Guide, or who wish to share ideas from their own practice.

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Douglas White

Gail Irvine

Dr Deborah Harrison

Philip Edwards

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