Step 1: Preparing the invitation to tender

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First, determine whether any social criteria are relevant to the contract. Are there any risks within the supply chain that social standards might be violated? Identify these risks and give details of them in the documentation.

Determine how social conditions are to be implemented

Implementation obligatory for major State contracts within risk categories

In the Netherlands, it is mandatory to include social conditions in government public procurements with a value greater than or equal to European public procurement thresholds falling within the ten identified risk categories.

Implementation in other contracts

In the case of smaller contracts, a decision should be made about whether or not to include social conditions. The level of effort involved for the supplier must be proportionate, i.e. in proportion to the size of the contract. In the case of small contracts, this relationship can be out of balance. In cases such as this, you are not required to implement international social conditions. Is there an internal policy with regard to the international social conditions? Or are there any significant risks within the supply chain that these standards might be violated? If so, then it is certainly advisable to include social conditions.

Risk Assessment and Analysis

Analyse potential risks in the supply chain

Check for tangible evidence of a higher risk that certain social standards may be violated in a specific product group or geographical region. The CSR risk checker can help you to identify any risks in your supply chain or value chain. There are still some sectors for which these risks have not been determined. That does not mean, of course, that there are none. The media, various studies, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Electronics Watch can also be a useful source of information about risks.

CSR risk checker  at
Electronics Watch   at

Draw attention to the topic in a market survey

Use a market survey to place international social conditions on the agenda. In this way, you can draw attention to this topic among potential bidders at an early stage, and together you can check for any evidence of risks.

Give details of the risks involved in the public procurement

Are there any known risks? Give details of these in your documentation and specify the contractor's "best efforts" obligation. Add the default text for generic international social conditions and/or additional international social conditions. Once the contract has been awarded, suppliers must either prepare an action plan to prevent or reduce the risks involved, or provide a reasoned argument to show why such risks are not applicable in their case.

Do not exclude any parties

You may not exclude from participation any parties that do not meet the standards in advance. Social conditions are, after all, neither selection criteria nor award criteria, but special terms and conditions of performance. This means that these conditions are only applicable to the implementation of the contract. Accordingly, they can play no part in the selection and award process. Once the award has been made, you should engage the supplier in a dialogue about their obligations.

Allocation of roles

During the preparatory phase, identify those within your own organisation who are responsible for monitoring compliance with social conditions and describe which role they play in which phase. During the contract period, it is important that the internal client or contract manager checks that the supplier is in compliance with the agreements reached. Carry out advance, internal discussions with stakeholders to ensure that the social conditions are properly safeguarded in the implementation phase.

Refer suppliers to MVO Nederland
Suppliers can contact MVO Nederland if they have any questions about social conditions in the supply chain. They can get in touch via @email or, if they have any questions about the CSR risk checker, via @email

Proceed to Step 2: Reviewing bids