Pillar 1: The State Duty to Protect Human Rights

Strand 5: Public Contracts (page 42-44)

During activities with citizens’ participation, it was repeatedly said, as highlighted by the Guiding Principles, that the State must lead by example and include human rights standards in the purchase or goods and services. Thus, the State not only integrates these standards in their own operations, but it also influences the actions and mechanisms of business enterprises celebrating contracts with the State.

Action Point 5.1

  • The Chilean System of Public Purchases, (Chilecompra), has the mission to facilitate the contracting of goods and services by the State through a public market web platform, in the different purchase procedures. Chilecompra will:
    o Incorporate an “Integrity Agreement” clause,* where the supplier bounds himself/herself to respect human rights in accordance with the Guiding Principles. Through the integrity agreement, suppliers commit, inter alia, to act with transparency, probity and truthfulness regarding the information and details submitted in the tender papers. This clause will be included in all terms and conditions of the Framework Agreement, and use thereof will be encouraged in the terms and conditions of public tenders. For the correct understanding of this clause, Chilecompra will train suppliers in its contents, including the issues of business and human rights.
  • Assess the possibility to gather, through a relevant guideline, recommendations for buyers aimed at safeguarding the respect for human rights in the process of acquiring goods and services.
  • Carry out initiatives allowing to strengthen the information tool of the public purchase system. This will be made possible by adhering to SEGPRES Open Government Plan, under the commitment to create a set of Guidelines and a Policy of open date promoting and developing the use of open data in public purchase procedures to strengthen transparency of the Chilean System of Public Purchases and foster probity and efficiency in this area.
  • Strengthen the inclusion of sustainability considerations in public purchase procedures, specifically though the following:
    • Development of a joint project with the Ministry for the Environment aimed at drafting policies for institutional purchases that take sustainability aspects into consideration.
    • Framework agreements including sustainability considerations relevant for the industry.
    • Online shop of the framework agreement including identifiable sustainability seals.
    • An Action Plan aimed at encouraging the participation of women in the system of public purchasing, through certain actions including a campaign to encourage the use the Sello Empresa Mujer seal developed in 2016, which identify companies that are owned or led by women; an intensive work with purchaser to encourage the use of the Sello Empresa Mujer seal as a criterion in their purchases; training workshops for women that supply the State.
    • Commitment with the initiative “She Trades” led by the United Nations, which seeks to link business women with the marketplace, thus strengthening the economic actor role of women.

* The Integrity Pact (IP) is a tool proposed by Transparency International against corruption aimed at the bidding companies, with the purpose of reducing corruption and waste in procurement for the public sector. Reducing corruption in procurement enables governments to make more efficient use of taxpayers’ money and limit the pernicious consequences of corruption. In the Chilean case, the integrity pact consists of a clause, within the bidding rules, which establishes the behavioural framework of the State suppliers, collecting a series of commitments to which the bidders and suppliers adjudicated are subject during the validity of a specific framework agreement or tender. Through this clause, suppliers undertake, among other matters, to act with transparency, probity and veracity in the information and background presented in a given proposal. Failure to comply with any of the hypotheses regulated in the aforementioned Covenant implies the sanction of early termination of the framework agreement.

 Action Point 5.2

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will gather information about the criteria used in purchases and tenders carried out by the institution with the purpose of identifying potential gaps and proposing improvement to the system.

Action Point 5.3

The INDH will adopt a human rights and environmental policy for the purchase of goods and services.

Action Point 5.4

The Ministry of Social Development will:

  • Organise training, through the Division of Public-Private Cooperation, to be given to the Procurement Department of the Administration and Finance Division of the Under-Secretariat of Social Assessment, about the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, releasing Chilecompra’s guidelines from their direct impact on human rights.
  • The National Disability Service will review the operation of Guideline 17 about inclusive public purchases that promote equal opportunities in the public marketplace, with the purpose to improve its enforcement in line with the Guiding Principles.