Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs – The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), as the central body of public administration, represents the CR in matters relating to labour law, social security and social care, and manages state assets. MoLSA has been promoting responsible public procurement since 2014. As a public administration body, it deems it important that funds for responsible public procurement are spent in accordance with MoLSA’s priorities both in the social and environmental areas.
MoLSA activities concerning responsible public procurement
In 2015, an internal Strategy for Responsible Public Procurement was approved, which defined strategic priorities for responsible public procurement. MoLSA is committed to the concept of responsible public procurement defined as a process during which organisations purchase products and services, and implement construction work in such a manner so as to receive the best benefit/cost ratio. Thus, it emphasises the 3E principle (economy, efficiency and effectiveness), as well as support for employment and social and environmental aspects. To set up the system of strategic and responsible public procurement effectively in everyday practice of the ministry, the Strategy for Responsible Public Procurement was expanded to include the internal document entitled Methodology for Socially Responsible Public Procurement. In it, MoLSA requirements administrators may find practical guidelines, sample texts and examples of how to reflect the concept in the tender dossier. Emphasis is placed on selecting the economically most advantageous solutions which take into account sustainability and lifecycle costs, in addition to price and technical/quality aspects. Social and employment aspects and benefits are also considered.
MoLSA tries to improve the current situation through activities under the “Support for the Implementation and Development of Socially Responsible Public Procurement” Project.
There are also other public contracting authorities committed to the concept of socially responsible public procurement, for instance:
Ministry of Agriculture – As one of the first contracting authorities, it started to promote the use of responsible procurement aspects in practice. As early as in spring 2014, the then Minister Marian Jurečka announced that the Ministry of Agriculture and its departmental organisations would use and further develop this concept in public procurement. The Ministry of Agriculture is successful at keeping this resolve and together with departmental organisations it has created a number of good practice examples, taking into account various social and environmental aspects in contracts.
Lesy České republiky, s.p. – Lesy České republiky, s.p. search for, and wherever appropriate, apply social and environmental aspects in their requirements and, among other things, strive to improve the position of forest workers in the CR. The organisation aims to ensure decent working conditions for forest workers, and, in a broader context promote this job as a traditional employment opportunity that represents an inseparable part of the support provided to people living in rural areas.
Povodí Vltavy, s.p. – Since 2016, Povodí Vltavy (The Vltava River Basin Authority), has been robustly taking into account the current trend of socially responsible public procurement. Investing of state enterprise funds may produce a significant side-effect, consisting in employing long-term unemployed people, people with difficulties in accessing the labour market, as well as students who may, as early as during their studies, acquire valuable experience to help them as fresh graduates successfully enter the labour market. Since 2016, the enterprise has been able to find jobs for 46 people with difficulties in accessing the labour market and long-term unemployed people, one person with a criminal record and 18 students, who in most cases take part in the preparation of project work or expert analyses for selected suppliers. Currently, the company is also preparing a concept for financing larger constructions through a transparent account.
Masaryk University – Masaryk University makes use of efficient procedures that help it target quality of the performance demanded and also consider social and environmental aspects when placing orders. For instance, several dynamic purchasing systems to acquire common and generally available goods and services have been put in place. Thanks to them, small and medium-sized suppliers may take part in partial public procurement, as well.
University of Chemistry and Technology – This contracting authority focuses, in particular, on promoting fair supplier relationships as well as decent working conditions, use of environmental-friendly materials, products and procedures, supporting SMEs and regional suppliers, as well as ethical purchasing.
South Moravian Region – The South Moravian Reginal Authority has been actively integrating responsible approach in its public procurement policy. When making its purchases, it gives consideration to support for companies employing people with physical disabilities, support for social enterprise, or environmental protection.
Hradec Králové Region – Small and medium-sized enterprises often mention long payment terms as one of the barriers preventing them from engaging in public procurement. However, contracting authorities may set up a mechanism to manage relationships among the contracting authorities, contractors and subcontractors so that the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (subcontractors) would be taken into account. These often include local businesses, the fact which promotes local economy. The regional authority is trying to increase transparency not only through open communication with suppliers, but also through the use of a transparent account showing incoming and outgoing payments with the exception of wages.
The town of Most – This contracting authority has been one of the pioneers of the concept of socially responsible public procurement in the Czech Republic. As part of its collaboration with the Government Agency for Social Inclusion, the city councillors helped addressing complex problems of socially excluded localities.
The town of Jičín – In 2018, the local authority incorporated a provision on responsible public procurement in the Public Procurement Directive. In a three-year pilot contract for typesetting, printing and distribution of a newsletter they made environmental-friendly solution a part of their assessment criteria, allocating it 15% of weight (requirements for paper from sustainable and legally acquired resources, emissions, energy consumption and waste management).
The town of Děčín – In the region with an above-average unemployment rate and social exclusion-related problems, the local authority has repeatedly applied the requirement to engage people with difficulties in accessing the labour market at least through the public contract duration. The local authority also contractually commits the contractors to adhering to decent working conditions.
The town of Kadaň – In cooperation with the Government Agency for Social Inclusion, the local authority has developed a Social Inclusion Strategy that sets out specific objectives and tasks related to social aspects in tendering. Kadaň is focusing not only on supporting long-term unemployed people, but also on providing help to graduates.
The Metropolitan District of Prague 8 – Within the framework of its strategic plan for sustainable development, the policy statement of the Prague 8 Municipal Council, the contracting authority strives for gradual integration of social, environmental and economic sustainability principles. The aim is to use public funds for environmental-friendly products, support for disadvantaged people, support for local economy and/or fair trade with the so called developing countries.