The supply chain of the University includes a large number of diverse suppliers, including suppliers of goods and services that directly support research and teaching activity, for example large scale laboratory equipment and laboratory consumables, and suppliers of indirect goods and services.
In FY 19/20, the University’s spend fell into five main categories:
|IT (e.g. telecoms, hardware, software)
|Estates (e.g. construction, facilities management, maintenance)
|Professional Services (e.g. temporary staff, consultancy)
|Commodities (e.g. travel, books, office supplies)
|Science (e.g. consumables, equipment)
The University procures goods and services from suppliers across the world, and has supporting systems in place to identify and assess potential risk areas and to mitigate the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains. These measures are described below.
The University requires suppliers to complete a due diligence questionnaire in respect of all contracts exceeding £100,000 (ex-VAT) in value, and recommends the questionnaire for use by departments when contracting between £25,000 and £100,000 (ex-VAT). This questionnaire includes a potential ground for rejection relating to convictions under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and asks that suppliers confirm they comply with, and have written policies and staff training in place in respect of, s54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. In FY 19/20 this questionnaire was updated to request further information from suppliers on the steps taken to mitigate risk in their supply chains.
Modern slavery requirements have been included as a Pass/Fail question in the award of all recent frameworks established to support the University’s Estates Capital Projects. This includes Cost Consultants, Technical Designers and Constructors. The University’s Estates Services also make use of Constructionline, where level 2 and 3 registered suppliers must provide details on their policies and how these are communicated and enforced within their organisations.
For purchases under £25,000 (ex-VAT) a more limited due diligence checklist is recommended which asks suppliers to confirm there have been no convictions under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, or if there have been that appropriate steps have been taken to rectify the identified issues.
The University’s terms and conditions all include an obligation to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
All preferred suppliers have at least an annual review and are asked to provide written confirmation that no convictions have occurred in relation to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, or if a conviction has occurred that appropriate steps have been taken to rectify the identified issues. All preferred suppliers are requested to provide their Modern Slavery Act 2015 policy statement as part of the review documentation, and an additional question has been included in the review template to identify specific actions taken to combat modern slavery during the previous twelve month period. We expect this to prompt suppliers to improve their statements year on year.
New templates and guidance have been developed in FY 19/20 for use in preferred supplier reviews to further support the identification and management of supply chain risk. These prompt discussions with the supplier regarding the management of their onward supply chains. All members of the Purchasing Department have received training on these templates and guidance.
Following an initial review by the University, work on reviewing the LUPC and NETPositives tools is being taken forward by Southern Universities’ Purchasing Consortium (of which the University is a member). Once this review is completed we will assess the recommended tool for adoption.