Last week the Government released the second version of the Supplier Code of Conduct. The first edition of the Code of Conduct was launched in September 2017 and according to the Government the codes “exist to help suppliers and grant recipients understand the standards and behaviours that are expected of them when working with the government.”
The updated version emphasizes the importance of working together with trusted suppliers to deliver better public services. “The expectations within this Supplier Code of Conduct have been enhanced to include commitments on how government will work with suppliers to build trust and deliver value.”
The code outlines three key areas where expectations need to be met and how the government will contribute:
- Employees and Service Users
This section outlines expectations surrounding aspects such as respectful treatment, vulnerable users and meeting user needs. For example, it is imperative that contracts with suppliers meet the needs of service users so the government will ensure the goods and services meet their needs and will work together with suppliers to achieve these outcomes.
- Business Practices
The Business Practices section focusses on elements like management of risk, continuous improvement, cuture plans, and data quality. In order to foster an open and trusting relationship the government will publish their pipelines and plans for future services to ensure suppliers have sight of what the government are doing to contribute to a strong relationship that encourages innovation. Moreover, the government will be informing suppliers of their innovation requirements during the procurement process to help suppliers continuously improve and understand what is expected of them.
- Standards of Behavior
These standards apply to both government and suppliers with transparency being a key component in making things work. It is expected of suppliers to be open and honest in their dealings with Government as well as Government being transparent with suppliers. According to the Code the government will publish guidance such as agreed Key Performance Indicators.
The relationship that the government has with suppliers is crucial to the delivery of Public Services and making sure expectations are met, so focusing largely on the importance of working together, the objective of the Code is to build an open and trusting relationship between both bodies to create the right environment for innovation.
It's great to see Government moving from a supplier-customer approach to a partnership-based approach to deliver public sector transformation. And commitments to improve communications with the supplier base, which will allow more companies to try and access the govtech market, are equally important. techUK looks forward to continuing working with the crown Commercial Service, GDS and individual departments on improving industry engagement and access to govtech innovation.
To read the Supplier Code of Practice in full please click here.