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Departmental Responsibilities

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure social value is included when services are commissioned by (a) his Department and (b) its public bodies; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The information is as follows:

(a) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has published a Sustainable Procurement Strategy:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/procurement/Sus_Proc_Strategy which details how procurement will deliver value for money in its contracting for goods and services while also delivering benefit in sustainable terms, in the categories of environmental, economic and social and across supply chains. The FCO has published an SME Action Plan:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/working-for-us/contracts-procurement/sme which will support SMEs by implementing promotion of procurement opportunities and removing any barriers to the use of SMEs in the UK.

(b) FCO Services, a trading fund of the FCO, addresses social value in procurement through sustainability. This is illustrated in the procurement of zero emission electric vehicles and fuel efficient HGV trailer units for the European Lorry Fleet. FCO Services also works with its logistics supplier to monitor and manage carbon emissions. More broadly in respect of procurement of materials and services it applies standard pan government contract terms, which reflect sustainability and equal opportunities/anti-discrimination requirements.

Wilton Park uses the FCO Sustainable Procurement Strategy mentioned above and is also currently developing a strategy to offer contracts to SME's which will be based on the FCO's.

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