2 National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights 2020-23

2.1 Pillar 1: state duty to protect


2.1.3 The State-business nexus

Guiding Principle 6

The federal government is committed to ensuring that the value chains of goods purchased by the public sector are free of human rights abuses. It promotes respect for human rights by business enterprises with which they conduct commercial transactions.


Measure 12: Criteria under the core ILO conventions in public procurement at federal level

The Federal Council attaches great importance to sustainable public procurement practices. Public procurement practices in Switzerland are governed by the Federal Act on Public Procurement (PPA) and the Ordinance on Public Procurement (PPO). The PPA stipulates that the federal government must, as a minimum, monitor compliance with the core ILO conventions where goods and services are to be supplied abroad. The contracting authority may require bidders to comply with other core international labour standards, provide proof of compliance, and agree to audits.

The Public Procurement Act is currently being revised in line with changes to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) 2012. The PPA (as amended) will include all three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social. Accordingly, the principle of sustainable public procurement will govern the interpretation and implementation of the PPA and the PPO. In its recommendations on sustainable procurement, the Federal Procurement Conference specifically calls for social, environmental and economic factors to be taken into account, including the human rights criteria covered by the core ILO conventions. It also recommends that sustainability criteria be reflected in award procedures.

The federal government will also explore the option of creating a national platform to promote sustainable public procurement practices and facilitate information-sharing between the different levels of government.

Objective Indicator Responsibility

Promote sustainable public procurement practices and information-sharing between the different levels of government.

The possibility of creating a national platform for sustainable public procurement was explored.

FDFA [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs],

DETEC [Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications],

EAER [Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research].