Under the EU Procurement Directives, contracting authorities may decide to reserve the right to tender for any contract to a sheltered workshop which is now defined as one in which at least 30 per cent of the employees are either disabled or disadvantaged. Contracting authorities may also reserve certain contracts for health, social and cultural services to organisations such as not-for-profit organisations which meet certain conditions, namely the pursuit of a public service mission linked to the delivery of the relevant services and reinvestment of profits in the organisation.
The Procurement Directives also set out the reporting obligations applicable to any above threshold procurements that lie within the scope of the EU Directive on public procurement.
It is a matter for individual contracting authorities to ensure that their public procurement activities are discharged in line with procurement rules and procedures which includes reporting. The OGP supports contracting authorities in this regard by making them aware of their legal and policy obligations in respect to public procurement.
The OGP has been promoting the inclusion of social considerations, including reserved contracts and sheltered workshops. Last October, the OGP published Circular 20/2019: Promoting the use of Environmental and Social Considerations in Public Procurement. The circular was the latest development following publication of an Information Note on Incorporating Social Considerations into Public Procurement last December and the establishment of the cross Departmental Social Considerations Advisory Group in March this year. These developments promote and facilitate the inclusion of social considerations in a structured manner and are aimed at helping policy makers and procurement practitioners understand how procurement can be used to support advancement of existing social policy objectives, the wider context and the implications of including them in procurement projects.