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SOCIAL RESONSIBILITIES 29 Transport for London • • • • An equality policy Outline of equality objectives and how these will be achieved including how they will be implemented by sub- contractors A diversity training plan Outline how employers and contractors will be trained in diversity issues that may arise in delivering the contract A supplier diversity training plan Explaining the bidders’ proposal for optimising the participation of diverse suppliers, including details of how this will be encouraged and measured A communications plan Outlining how bidders will manage external relations and communications with the local communities and stakeholders work with its existing suppliers. “TfL’s proactive supplier relationship management approach helped to discuss and share information on supplier diversity. This resulted in a project to be launched with its key suppliers” says Rasheed. These suppliers were asked to provide details of their equality policy, diversity training plan, supplier diversity and communications plan. Assessment of the To this end, TfL’s Procurement teams have attended various ‘Meet the Buyer’ events designed to bring diverse suppliers in contact with buyers. TfL has also recently hosted its own event to encourage a two-way dialogue between diverse suppliers and its buyers. Additionally, TfL is continuing to work with the London Development Agency (LDA) to seek out suitable diverse suppliers that can fulfil its procurement requirements. Next steps The challenges TfL now faces is to fully embed and mainstream supplier diversity into the organisation, its culture and practice to fulfil its vision. “It is not just a static activity of writing a programme” says Rasheed. For its Supplier Diversity programme to be successful, TfL must ensure the programme is maintained, monitored and benchmarked against the key players conducting similar programmes in Supplier Diversity. Rasheed added “We’ll keep driving the various supplier diversity projects forward to ensure that the programme maintains its momentum. We are continually identifying new contracts where diversity requirements can be applied. By doing so, we not only help support the vibrancy of the London community, we also expose TfL to a wider range of innovative solutions, developed with future generations in mind”. “If bidders failed to meet the requirements they were unable to proceed to the next stage of the bidding process” says Rasheed. The contract conditions also asked bidders to cascade the requirements to its sub-contractors and report implementation progress to TfL. Furthermore, the contract was given ‘teeth’ by including a provision which could lead to the eventual removal of the contractor and sub-contractor if the diversity requirements were not met. The tube carriages manufacturing contract has recently been awarded to Bombardier and the infrastructure development contract is due to be awarded shortly. Once the contracts begin, the benefits of supplier diversity will start to be realised. Working with suppliers The long term nature of TfL’s contracts means that to fully implement supplier diversity requirements, it also needs to documents resulted in joint action plans to improve suppliers’ performance in diversity. “There’s also an opportunity for suppliers to benchmark their performance against each other” says Rasheed. “Though it leaves us with a chall enge on how to engage diverse suppliers directly into our supply chain”. ISSUE TWO 2006 engage