Responsible procurement the GLA family and the Olympic Delivery Agency

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The responsible procurement policy

In 2006, the Mayor of London adopted a ‘Responsible Procurement Policy’ to apply across the Greater London Authority (GLA), Transport for London (TfL), the London Development Agency (LDA), London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) and the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) / Service (MPS), collectively known as the GLA group. In February 2008, the Mayor published an overview of the policy. The policy covered seven themes: i) encouraging a diverse base of suppliers; ii) promoting fair employment practices; iii) promoting workforce welfare; iv) addressing strategic labour needs and enabling training; v) community benefits; vi) ethical sourcing practices; and vii)promoting greater environmental sustainability. The Mayor also worked with the Olympic agencies to ensure procurement for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games took those principles into account, and agreed to take the same approach to the construction of Crossrail.

Olympic Delivery Agency -Targets, outcomes and reporting of progress

Benchmarks were calculated using Labour Force survey (LFS) data from 2006–07, weighted according to the expected geographic split of the London 2012 workforce (UK, London, five Host Boroughs) and the expected average manual/non-manual spilt.

It is recognised that BAME people, women and disabled people are underrepresented in the construction workforce; this underrepresentation was inherent in the LFS data. As such, benchmarks were seen as a minimum level the ODA intended to achieve since they represented performance in line with the current industry average.

Targets were calculated using the same LFS data, but adjusted to reflect the representation of minority groups in the five Host Boroughs, London and the UK (which is much higher than the representation in the construction industry). The targets were seen as setting a challenging level which the ODA strived to achieve.

The targets were used as a tool to combat complacency and demonstrated that the ODA was committed, as stated in the Equality and Diversity Strategy, to publish targets and use them to make a step change in the makeup of the construction workforce. The ODA used the following benchmarks and targets when reporting progress against the objectives set out in the EIES strategies in relation to gender, disabled people and people from BAME backgrounds:

  • 11 per cent of the contractor workforce to be women;
  • three per cent of the contractor workforce to be disabled people; and
  • 15 per cent of the contractor workforce to be people who are of BAME background.

Outcomes: Contractor workforce

The 11 per cent benchmark for women included women working  in manual and non-manual roles on site and in head office facilities. However, monitoring of the Park contractor workforce was taken through the access control system and only therefore captured those workers who accessed the Park. Consequently, the ODA’s benchmark was always going to be challenging for contractors to meet because few contractors had head office functions on site. Of the workforce on the Park in manual trades, three per cent were women (at peak), which exceeded the national average in construction which is between one and two per cent.

The number of disabled people working on the Park and Athletes’ Village was consistently below the three per cent benchmark. The figures suggested that there was a need for behavioural and cultural change, where contractors appreciated that ‘reasonable adjustments’ were not necessarily costly and could involve more flexibility in working arrangements. The monitoring questions about disability were completed voluntarily at the point of enrolment for work, allowing for individual discretion about disclosure, which traditionally results in underreporting.

Table 1: Olympic Park and Athletes Villages’ targets and benchmarks

 

 

 

Employee category

Benchmark/target percentage of workforce

Actual percentage of workforce (June 2011)

 

 

 

BAME backgrounds

15%

24%

Women

11%

5%

Disabled people

3%

1.2%

 

 

 

 

Table 2: JSF Brokerage targets and benchmarks data April 2009 – June 2011

 

 

 

Employee category

Benchmark/target percentage of workforce

Actual percentage of workforce (June 2011)

 

 

 

BAME backgrounds

15%

60%

Women

11%

17%

Disabled people

3%

6%

 


Original material plus Learning legacy, Lessons learned from the London 2012 Games construction project – ODA, 2011