The European Commission has published new guidance for European contracting authorities on how to introduce social criteria into public tenders. This second edition of “Buying Social: A guide to taking account of social considerations in public procurement” provides practical indications for public buyers to consider the social impact of the goods, services, and works they purchase. The guide has been updated to reflect the changes brought about by the 2014 EU directives on public procurement and includes suggestions on how to use public procurement to achieve social goals. It covers the entire procurement process step-by-step, including information on how to set up an organisational strategy for socially responsible public procurement (SRPP), how to plan the tender procedure, as well as elements of contract management.

Socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) is about achieving positive social outcomes in public procurement contracts. Procurement affects a large number of people: users of public services, those involved in production and delivery, or staff of the buying organisation. Beyond those directly affected, SRPP has the potential to influence the broader market on both the demand and supply sides. The purpose of this document is to raise public buyers’ awareness of the potential benefits of SRPP and to explain in a practical way the opportunities offered by the EU legal framework. This Guide is intended to help public buyers and to encourage good practice. It is a non-binding document which does not affect the rights and obligations set in the EU legislation.

The OGP has also published an Information Note on Incorporating Social Considerations into Public Procurement which can be accessed here. The purpose of this Note is to help policy makers and practitioners understand how procurement can be used to facilitate the advancement of existing social policy objectives as well as the wider context and implications of including them in particular procurement projects.

Buying Social 2nd Ed