New supply rules
The Department of Finance and Deregulation has been ordered to introduce a range of measures to discourage the use of ‘slavery’ by suppliers winning Government contracts.
Announced by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, the move is part of a whole-of-government anti-slavery initiative to use PS procurement rules and practices to assist in identifying and stamping out the practice.
Ms Gillard said the Australian Government Anti-Slavery Initiative would improve the Government’s procurement arrangements by processes, advice to agencies and training.
She said the Department of Finance and Deregulation would work to ensure that Commonwealth procurement arrangements adequately identified slavery as an important issue when considering the ethical behaviour of suppliers and would issue revised procurement guidance to reinforce the need for specific actions or behaviours to eliminate the chances of slavery being used in supply chains.
She said it would also strengthen training and development arrangements for Commonwealth procurement officers to reinforce specific legal and policy requirements, including reporting of breaches of policy.
“Slavery and people-trafficking are crimes that affect almost every nation on earth – as either source, transit or destination countries,” Ms Gillard said.
“It is not a phenomenon to which Australia is immune.”
She said over the past decade, more than 20 million people around the world had been the subject of forced labour, slavery and human trafficking.
“Eighty per cent of them are women – women who are poor, who have little or no education, who are victims of domestic violence, who are shut-out from economic opportunities and who shoulder family responsibilities without legal or financial support,” she said.
“This year as part of Australia’s membership of the United Nations Security Council and as we move to host the G20 in 2014, Australia will continue to pursue global action to combat slavery and people-trafficking,” the Prime Minister said.
Edition 352, 12 March 2013