For additional information on ICAR’s work on procurement reform, please see www.hrprocurementlab.org
The U.S. federal government is the largest single purchaser in the global economy, with annual procurement spending that totals between $350 and $500 billion. Like other mega-consumers, it procures through global supply chains that enable large-scale production of goods to varying specifications—all at the lowest possible cost—and often in countries where rule of law and respect for human rights is weak or nonexistent. As such, the U.S. government’s global supply chains are linked to a range of human rights violations.
The “Government Procurement Project” of the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) commissioned three experts—Robert Stumberg, Anita Ramasastry, and Meg Roggensack—to conduct an in-depth analysis into U.S. federal procurement across several sectors, including apparel, agriculture, electronics, mineral extraction, and logistical and security services.
The resulting report—Turning a Blind Eye? Respecting Human Rights in Government Purchasing—seeks to provide a preliminary road map of ways in which the procurement process can be used to leverage the U.S. government’s immense purchasing power to push government suppliers to respect human rights. The goals of the report are: (1) to strengthen implementation of existing procurement standards, including those outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Right (UNGPs), to protect human rights and (2) to require suppliers to respect human rights through the same due diligence steps that are becoming the norm in the private sector. In addition to fulfilling international obligations, the fulfillment of these goals would bring U.S. federal procurement into alignment with existing U.S. labor, trade, investment, and assistance policies—all of which provide helpful precedents and models for the strengthening of procurement rules.
The report can be downloaded here or viewed below.
Should you have any questions about the report, please contact Amol Mehra, ICAR’s Director, at email@example.com.
Analysis and Updates From This Program
23 August 2016
The UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights is currently conducting an inquiry on human rights and business. In response to a call for written evidence, ICAR wrote a submission on the topic of human rights and public procurement of apparelRead More…
19 July 2016
July 19, 2016 – Today the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights, a project of organizations including ICAR, DIHR, and the Harrison Institute at Georgetown University, is pleased to announce the publication of its first report, entitled “PublicRead More…
18 April 2016
ICAR and Co-signers Submit Letter to President Obama Calling for Full Implementation of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act 2006 Read More…
01 April 2016
On March 24, 2016, ICAR and the Harrison Institute at Georgetown University Law Center hosted a webinar on supply chain transparency. The webinar provides case studies illustrating the need for federal contractors to disclose their supply chains. It then highlights thatRead More…
19 November 2015
Remarks from the Learning Lab Workshop on Public Procurement and Human Rights Geneva, 19 November 2015 During the first workshop held by the Learning Lab, speakers gave remarks about the importance of public procurement as a tool to ensure businesses respect humanRead More…
01 October 2015
On 19 November the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), the Harrison Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, and the Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham’s School of Law will launchRead More…