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Keystone Column no 79 – Environmental, Social and Labour Law Standards in Ireland

By 13th July 2017 No Comments

This week’s column we look at new trends. The OGP has published new guidelines for suppliers to the State. Here we focus on the first formal definition of the minimum environmental, social and labour law standards for suppliers to the State. There are some industries that are perceived as higher risk than others. We outline the key compliance area and industries that are seen as higher risk for breaches in this area. We include our latest report on public tenders.


Procurement rules – Environmental, Social and Labour Law Standards for Suppliers

We have previously written about this area. We find it is often misunderstood by suppliers to EU states. Last week, the Office of Government Procurement in Ireland published a new set of procurement guidelines to cover procurement contests across the Irish market. We are still analysing what is a very detailed document. It constitutes a very welcome clarification of the rules the state’s Centre of Excellence for procurement policy expects its colleagues to apply in the course of sourcing from the private (or public) markets.

We often find ourselves speaking with firms in sectors that are deemed high risk under environmental, social and labour law by public buyers. They are deemed high risk because of the track record in the sector of rogue, incompetent or negligent operators. The table outlines a non-exhaustive list of sectors.


While these sectors are all in the front line from the point of being seen as “risky” albeit necessary to buy from, this also presents an opportunity for companies to stand out from the pack. In the table below, we outline the key environmental, social and labour standards arising from international treaty obligations that suppliers to the state are meant to be in compliance with.

The key thing to take into account here is that in the future, there is a very specific onus on the State to cease purchasing from suppliers that are in clear breach of these areas. There are protected disclosures channels into public bodies that can also help to compel action where there is apparent inertia. Organisations fearful of impacts to their business can approach certain industry representative bodies or (in the area of Labour) trade unions and they may well find an ally willing to pick up their cause.

There is a path to ensuring companies that do not play by the rules cannot take work from ethical suppliers that do. Companies can prepare a statement outlining the measures they have taken to comply with all these areas and include it in tender documentation in the future. They also have the opportunity to inform public sector contacts of the steps they have taken.


New public procurement tenders this week 

Visit the Keystone website to view our take on the 500+ active public procurement opportunities with more than five days until their deadline. There are a vast range of services, supplies and construction related to public procurement opportunities in the following sectors (there are many more sectors than the sample list below):

  • Construction and related trades,
  • Professional & Advisory Services,
  • PR, Media, Advertising and related,
  • ICT supplies and services,
  • Training,
  • Property & facilities management,
  • Vehicle & automotive,
  • Catering and related services,
  • Cleaning and related services,
  • Waste Management,
  • Maintenance and related services,
  • Horticultural supplies & services,
  • Research & environmental monitoring,
  • Printing, office supplies and related services,
  • Trades,
  • Medical and scientific research, supplies and services,
  • A vast range of other services and supplies.




Businesses interested in any of these strategic procurement opportunities that are unsure of how they can follow-up on these tenders can contact Keystone at any stage. We would be happy to discuss your needs and where they may fit with your business growth plans. These public procurement opportunities are sources of business growth and innovation for companies across the country.

Please note, e-tenders often has public procurement opportunities incorrectly categorised so people relying on e-tender alerts could easily miss out on opportunities if they are dependent on it. E-tenders is only as reliable as the people inputting tenders and mistakes are made very frequently. The Keystone Column includes all live tenders posted on e-tenders that have five or more days until their deadline as at July 13th 2017.