Socially responsible public procurement
Socially responsible public procurement means that public sector entities also take into account extensively the impact of their procurements on society. In practice, this could mean liaising with a customer group during the procurement planning process or ensuring that fundamental and human rights are observed in the provision of the goods or services. Social perspectives can be taken into account in various different ways and at various different stages of the procurement procedure. However, it should also be noted that social requirements, as with all requirements concerning public procurement, must accord with the legal principles of the European Union. Responsible procurements must therefore also be equal, non-discriminatory, transparent, proportionate and recognise reciprocity.
The Guide published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (2017) uses practical examples to illuminate how social aspects can be taken into account in public procurement. The Guide divides the procurement process into five stages so that opportunities for considering social aspects in different stages of procurement are as clear as possible.