engage magazine issue 002 \\\\\\\'06 - Page 27

SOCIAL RESONSIBILITIES 27 Transport for London Public Sector Procurement Procurement is progressively becoming a vehicle for delivering the benefits of supplier diversity. Typically, TfL contracts with large suppliers to build complex infrastructure around the capital and wanted to find a way to include diverse suppliers in these supply chains whilst remaining legally compliant. TfL’s procurement process is governed by the European Union Regulations. Rasheed says “The biggest challenge for public sector organisations is to balance the supplier diversity requirements within the constraints of European procurement law”. She explains: “EU procurement law prohibits us from setting quotas and targets. We can’t say to suppliers that a certain percentage of a workforce must reflect the diversity of London, as this would be discriminatory to other member states. Also we cannot take into account matters that are not relevant to the subject of the contract. EU procurement law requires the process to be transparent, fair and objective”. “We must also meet our statutory obligations, as a Best Value Authority and be mindful that we do not impose any requirements on the contractors that cause them to breach employment law prohibitions, such as positive discrimination”. Her team designed a ‘Supplier Diversity Toolkit’ which gives guidance on how to apply diversity requirements in each step of the procurement process. The procurement teams assisted with the application of the toolkit into new contracts. People working across TfL are now able to embed diversity requirements more easily into the supply chain. East London Line Project The East London Line Project (ELLP) is being carried out in one of the most ethnically diverse areas of London with the first phase completing in 2010. This is the first project where legally robust supplier diversity requirements were applied. Rasheed says “We have taken the lead in Europe as the first transport organisation to apply conditions in the tender and contracts to encourage diverse suppliers”. These conditions were applied in the £600 million contract for the infrastructure development and also in the £350 million contract for the tube carriages manufacture. Bidders were required to show: ISSUE TWO 2006 engage