Supported Factories and Businesses
Supported Factories and Businesses may sometimes find it difficult to access and obtain public contracting opportunities. In recognition of this fact, the Public Sector Procurement Directive permits contracting authorities to reserve procurement competitions for sheltered workshops.
Government Procurement Service has established a pan-government collaborative framework agreement for use by UK public sector bodies, including (but not limited to) central government departments and their agencies, non-departmental public bodies; NHS bodies and local authorities, by exercising the right to reserve the procurement under Article 19 of the EU Consolidated Directive (Article 7 – Public Contracts Regulations).
The scope of the Supported Factories and Businesses framework agreement covers both products and services in the following Lots:
- ICT Secure Disposal Services
- Non Secure ICT Disposal Services
- Furniture & Associated Products
- Document Management
We encourage public bodies to make full use of this framework agreement when procuring these goods and services.
What is a “Supported Factory” or “Supported Business”?
“A service/establishment where more than 50% of the workers are disabled persons who by reason of the nature or severity of their disability are unable to take up work in the open labour market”.
European legislation uses the term “sheltered workshops” however, in the UK the accepted term used is Supported Factories and Businesses.
Why should we consider Supported Factories or Businesses as an option before placing a contract?
The Government is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for everyone and access to employment opportunities is key to achieving this goal. Supported factories and businesses have a valuable role to play in assisting people with disabilities to integrate into the labour market and helps to improve their overall independence.
Supported factories and businesses can provide a wide range of goods and services. Many of these organisations have websites and electronic catalogues, which provide product and service lines and also details of their capacity potential.
Before taking the decision to reserve a contract, contracting authorities should consult the market in order to establish whether or not supported factories and businesses will be able to meet their requirements and provide value for money.
Policy guidance on procurement from Supported Factories and Businesses is also available from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) website.