Supply Chain Council of European Union |

Reader ‘s opinion The procurement strategy addresses breaches of workers’ rights

Promoting the social responsibility of procurement is one of the top goals of the strategy.

SAK: n procurement expert Pia Björkbacka hoped in her opinion paper (HS 13.9.)that the first national public procurement strategy, published last week, would address labor market violations more strictly.

First of all, the promotion of CSR in procurement is one of the key objectives of the strategy. It specifically means improving workers’ rights in procurement, both domestically and in subcontracting chains abroad.

To achieve this goal, the strategy involves measures as well as a monitoring metric. It is essential to create procurement models for contracting entities to address shortcomings and to support them in implementing the models. They must take into account the market survey, the criteria for tenders, the terms of the contract and the monitoring during the contract period.

For example, Senate properties, which manage state-owned facilities, have a model on construction sites that includes these elements. The terms of the Senate contract allow for contractual penalties for the main contractor, for example, for breaches of the rights of the subcontractor’s employees. The Senate also conducts dozens of inspections at construction sites each year. As a result, the inconveniences have decreased.

The implementation of the strategy aims to increase the use of such models in municipalities, among others.

In foreign subcontracting chains, the rights of employees are to be extended by a code of conduct attached to the terms of the contract, which must be observed and monitored by the contract suppliers.

From the point of view of contracting entities, investing in responsibility is worthwhile, as the improved reliability of contractors is also reflected in the quality of work.

In addition, it is important to improve contracting authorities’ access to information on omissions, otherwise they cannot be addressed. One of the purposes is to enable contracting entities to check extracts from criminal records automatically.

In her writing, Björkbacka emphasized the importance of a binding procurement law in improving workers’ rights. In addition, it is necessary to consider the adequacy of sanctions for infringements of workers’ rights and the right of action of trade unions. They are regulated by the Penal Code and labor protection legislation.

The law provides a framework for procurement development, but it also requires better management, coordination and information flow. These are the aims of the procurement strategy.

Sirpa Paatero

Minister of Local Government (sd) responsible for procurement strategy

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at


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