Fulfilling its promise? Strategic public procurement and the impact of equality considerations on employers’ behaviour in Scotland

E.K. Sarter*, Emily Thomson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract:Public administration is an important force influencing equality in today’s society. Like budgetary choices, public procurement has increasingly gained attention as a means to promote equality. Yet, there are important gaps in knowledge, especially regarding how equality requirements in public procurement affect company behaviour. This paper sheds first light on the impact strategic public procurement has on employers’ behaviour. Based on empirical research, this paper highlights that companies perceive a limited prevalence of equality stipulations in Scottish public procurement practices and raises doubts about the impact of public procurement practices to create a successful business case for equality.

Impact:
Increasingly, public procurement is advocated as a lever to promote equality. Yet, whether and how far equality considerations affect companies’ behaviour and how the impact of public procurement as a tool to promote equality can be maximized, remains largely unknown. Addressing this increasingly important area for public administration, this paper has resonance for policy-makers and practitioners. It suggests that equality considerations in public procurement should be seen as one part of a comprehensive strategy rather than a stand-alone tool. It furthermore suggests coupling equality requirements in public procurement with the provision of effective help for SMEs to devise and implement measures to promote equality.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Money and Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • business case
  • gender equality
  • public procurement
  • public sector equality duty
  • Scotland

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