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Link to Manufacturing Forum, at the Department of Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform

Social Clauses Report (pdf file)

Download Social Clauses
Case Studies (pdf file)

30th October 2006
Achieving social and environmental objectives
using social clauses

In 2006, RATC formed part of a team led by Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, Birmingham, that has shown that "social clauses" can be included in public sector contracts, without causing undue or needless additional costs, and without creating unfair burdens on potential bidders. This research was carried out for the Department of Trade and Industry, on behalf of the Manufacturing Forum.

RATC conducted Case Study 7 Transport for London, examining the bus service Quality Incentive Contract. Interviews were conducted with a bus operator (Hackney Community Transport's CT Plus trading subsidiary), a bus driver, Transport for London's Contracts Department, and a manufacturer (Eminox).
The case study illustrates a range of different approaches to achieving social and environmental objectives using social clauses contained within a public procurement process that has been very successful in meeting its core objectives.

This particular public procurement involves securing the capital’s bus services at a total cost of just over £1.3 billion, with fare income of nearly £850 million, and a net subsidy from the public purse of about £500 million. The results were 1.8 billion passenger boardings, 6.8 billion passenger kilometres, and 450 million bus kilometres operated (figures are for 2004/05).

Hackney Community Transport (HCT), a social enterprise, obtained a contract from Transport for London (TfL) to operate the 153 bus service, through its commercial trading subsidiary CT Plus. Part of the contract involves the provision of gender and ethnic monitoring information, although this requirement is not included in the contract award procedure. TfL bidders are also required to list the training that bus drivers will receive.
As a social enterprise based in a very deprived area HCT has participated in research into ‘women in the bus industry’ and subsequently established a training programme for women wanting to become bus drivers. This is helping HCT and other bus operators to increase the participation of women in the bus industry. This is a response to the monitoring of social impacts even where the contract specification does not make such a response a contract condition.

Regarding disabled access the case study has also enabled an examination of the interplay between legislation and the use of social requirements in contracts. This has included using existing contract penalties to ensure that boarding ramps fitted to bus entrances are in full working order.
TfL has contract conditions and enforcement arrangements relating to vehicle tailpipe emissions. These are examined to show the implications for a vehicle equipment supplier, and demonstrate that there was considerable competitive advantage to be gained by the manufacturer, in the form of significant domestic orders and even more significant export orders. The manufacturer is also well placed to benefit from further tightening of tailpipe emission standards now being introduced.


© Richard Armitage Transport Consultancy Limited 2010
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