Accounting for an average of 12% of gross domestic product (GDP) in OECD countries, public procurement is a strategic tool for achieving wider policy goals, including supporting innovation, addressing environmental challenges, mitigating inequalities, and promoting sustainable development. Public procurement can also be a means to promote responsible business conduct (RBC) and address global supply chain risks to people and the planet. Risk-based supply chain due diligence can help public buyers ensure value for money in its broader sense towards encompassing sustainability of procurement decisions.

This report highlights how OECD members and adherents to OECD instruments incorporate RBC objectives and risk-based due diligence into their public procurement systems. For the purposes of this report, RBC objectives include considerations related to the environment, human rights, labour rights, minorities, people with disabilities, the long-term unemployed, gender, and integrity. The analysis in the report considers three aspects of RBC: coverage of RBC objectives; their application along the supply chain; and, their integration throughout the procurement cycle.

The analysis shows that the uptake of RBC objectives in public procurement is incomplete and uneven and that limited systematic risk-based supply chain due diligence is incorporated in the frameworks and practices of central purchasing bodies (CPBs). Challenges also remain on the implementation of a number of RBC objectives and follow-up to monitor the uptake of RBC objectives is weak.

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