In 2019 the region of Extremadura launched Law 12/2018, December 26th, of Socially Responsible Public Procurement, that includes the obligation derived from UE Directive 2014/24 of adopting measures in the execution of contracts to guarantee compliance by tenderers of the requirements in environmental, social or labour matters, established by current dispositions, removing barriers to the access of SMEs to public procurement, as well as the incorporation into the specifications of social and environmental clauses or those related to other public policies whenever possible taking into account the nature of the contract.
We can highlight some key points from Law 12/2018:
- The economically most advantageous understood as one that offer is not only takes into account the lowest price, but also quality and efficiency parameters, as well as socially responsible criteria. In this sense, for the evaluation of the offers, in addition to the price, other aspects will be considered, especially equality between men and women, quality, the longer useful life of the work, product or service contracted or the incorporation of business innovation aspects.
- The obligation to promote the hiring of workers with disabilities or at risk of social exclusion is established, reserving participation in the procedures to special employment centers of social initiative and integration companies.
- Another key point is the boost that is intended to give to SMEs in contracts, in order to promote the competitiveness of small companies. For this, different measures are detailed to facilitate and enhance the participation of SMEs in tenders, among which is the application, as a general rule, of dividing the object of contracts into lots, which will allow small and medium companies to access to high-volume contracts that previously could not because of their limited resources.
- To fight against fraud, favoritism and corruption, a series of measures are mentioned, such as demanding civil or criminal liability from companies, in the event of unjustified cost overruns, reinforcing and expanding subsequent control and auditing ofcontracting, creating channels of information and/or reporting of corruption cases, to maximize transparency or to carry out comprehensive monitoring of procurement.
- A specific body is created to ensure the correct application of legislation, “Extremadura Office for Procurement Supervision”.
In conclusion, it can be stated that the incorporation of social clauses is a part of a sustainable public procurement system, which takes advantage of the potential that public procurement plays in the economy as a resource for transferring public resources to the market, with which it is also intended to promote and consolidate a sustainable business network with a social and environmental commitment.