In 2009, the Norwegian city of Baerum put out a call for tenders for computers, monitors, printers, projectors and additional equipment and accessories. This resulted in a framework agreement, running from January 2010. Three parallel contracts were signed for the duration of one year (2 contracts) and two years (one contract ) respectively. The estimated value of the total framework agreement is about 16 million euro.
Baerum formulated ethical criteria, as contractual conditions: suppliers shall respect basic human rights, workers’ rights and the environment. Goods supplied shall be produced under conditions that are compatible with the criteria listed below. These criteria are based on key UN conventions, ILO conventions and national labour legislation at the place of production. The criteria describe minimum standards. Where conventions and national laws and regulations address the same issues, the highest standard shall always apply. If a supplier uses sub-suppliers to fulfil this contract, the supplier shall be obliged to promote compliance with the criteria by the sub-suppliers. The ethical criteria specifically mention ILO labour Conventions 138, 182 (re. child labour), 29 and 105 (re. forced labour/slavery), 100 and 111 (re. discrimination), and 87 and 98 (re. the right to form trade unions and to bargain collectively). The contracted companies have to abide by these conventions and assist their suppliers to also meet these criteria.
Included in the ethical criteria are a number of prescribed steps to ensure compliance at the level of the suppliers own business activities as well as their sub-suppliers. This compliance work shall be documented through: self-assessment by the supplier and/or sub-supplier; follow-up meetings with the contractor; a check by an independent party of the working conditions at the production site. If this method is chosen, information shall be supplied about who has completed the check and which inspection methods have been used; and/or certification of the producer: SA8000 or equivalent.
As contracting agency, Baerum has the right to conduct unannounced checks at production sites of the supplier companies. In the event of contractual breaches, the supplier shall be obliged to remedy the highlighted failings. If rectifications are not made, fines may be imposed. The fines shall be proportionate to the type and extent of the breaches. Baerum shall be entitled to terminate the contract in the event of a material contract breach, or if a breach is not rectified.