Volunteers are often the bedrock of charitable organisations, but they are not protected from sexual harassment within those organisations.
Section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988 has made that clear for many years. It prohibits the taking into account of non-commercial considerations in procurement decisions, including considerations relating to country of origin. The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 also do not allow for a contracting authority (off its own back) to boycott certain countries or organisations.
Councils do, from time to time, pass resolutions seeking to boycott. However, as The Queen (on the application of Jewish Rights Watch, t/a Jewish Human Rights Watch) v Leicester City Council demonstrates, these commissioning resolutions are either made by full Council (when the Executive rather than full Council has the power to make procurement decisions) or usually caveated by words to the effect of “so far as the law allows” (we sense the hand of a lawyer there). As the law does not allow it, any such resolution has no legal effect and is purely symbolic.
The issue of boycotts greatly concerns the Government; it was only last year that they issued a Procurement Policy Note on the subject. Now the Government proposes to amend the Revised Best Value Statutory Guidance to “Add a new paragraph stating that authorities should not implement or pursue boycotts other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the Government”.
In our view, given the clear understanding of what Section 17 means and that procurement law does not allow local authorities to boycott, there is no need for any change to the best value guidance.
Does this mean that the Government has some other motive? The consultation refers to “pursue boycotts”. Does this mean that the Government is also going after purely symbolic resolutions and restricting local authority members from even commenting on issues?
We wait to see the outcome of the consultation and the exact wording that goes into the guidance. For reference, the consultation can be found here.
Here at Anthony Collins Solicitors, we have been hard at work advising a charity client, BICMP, on its new music project, ‘Resonance’.
Currently, the only ground for divorce is irretrievable break down of a marriage. Following a consultation, the Government has announced its intention to reform the legal requirements for divorce.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recently made some noteworthy changes to its guidance around data subject access requests (DSARs).
In the fourth part of our series on contract management pitfalls, we look at the risks arising out of varying the terms of construction contracts.
A local authority recently received a "roasting" by the Pensions Ombudsman for their delay in processing an employee’s ill-health retirement pension, following her diagnosis with advanced cancer.
The Times is looking for three or four charities to feature in their editions running in December 2019 and early January 2020.
Cliff Mills defines and talks about the importance of social value in his blog, and its potential within Greater Manchester.
Following a power outage at Anthony Collins Solicitors’ (ACS) Birmingham office, our employees and partners currently have limited functionality, including no access to emails.
Joint ventures present an opportunity for housing associations to build organisational capacity, the revenues from which could help deliver on wider social housing commitments.
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