Since 1 October 2015, commercial organisations that carry on a business or part of business in the UK, supply goods or services and have an annual turnover of £36 million or more ("relevant commercial organisations") have been required under section 54 of the Act to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement (as defined by section 54 of the Act).
Steps taken to combat modern slavery in our supply chain
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council incorporates within its invitation to tender documentation the Crown Commercial Service’s standard selection questionnaire (SQ).
Part 3 of the SQ is specifically for selection questions and within this is a section on the Modern Slavery Act.
It firstly asks whether the bidder is a relevant commercial organisation as defined by section 54 ("Transparency in supply chains etc.") of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 ("the Act").
If the bidder answers yes to this question they are then asked to confirm are they compliant with the annual reporting requirements contained within Section 54 of the Act 2015 and to provide the link to the statement on their website. If the bidder answers no to this then they are asked to provide an explanation.
In addition, within the explanatory notes of the SQ it states an offence under section 2 or section 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is grounds for mandatory exclusion from the procurement process.
Within the main body of the Council’s invitation to tender documentation there is a section on ethical sourcing practices. It states the Council will seek to work with suppliers who throughout their supply chain meet the ethical sourcing practices detailed in this section including:
“Afford their employees the freedom to choose to work for them. Employees should be free to leave the supplier after reasonable notice is served.”
Procuring officers consider including additional bespoke requirements if procuring contracts in high risk areas.
The Commissioning and procurement team have Modern Slavery Act training as a mandatory requirement for all members of the team who conduct procurement processes and/or engage in contract management to highlight the issues relating to modern slavery.