The SNP Government has published guidance to help strengthen economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its ongoing illegal invasion of Ukraine, on how to reject bids to procure a contract for goods or services from firms which are established in Russia and Belarus.
This also applies to companies with substantial business operations in Russia or Belarus, as well as those under the control of a person with links to the Russian regime.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The SNP Government has been clear since the beginning of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, that the business community has a moral responsibility to take economic action by reviewing operations for links and connections to Russia – and severing them where it is possible to do so.
"Soon after the invasion began, I called for sanctions to be extended to Belarus and I'm pleased that exclusion of Belarusian operations is also encouraged.
“While it is up to the contracting authority as decision-maker to make an informed, rounded, case-specific assessment, this guidance will ensure public bodies can exclude companies from new contracts, or terminate existing ones, if the bidder has connections to the Russian regime.”
The guidance applies to public bodies, with the exception of local authorities, which are bound by legislation which prevents them from taking into account the geographical location of a company when considering bids for a contract. The SNP Government is currently considering options.
Section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988 prevents local authorities from taking non-commercial matters, including the location of any country or territory of the business activities or interests of contractors, into account in procurement or contract termination decisions.
A public body is an organisation that is publicly funded to deliver a public or government service.