Public sector to investigate cutting contracts with Russian suppliers
The Cabinet Office has published a Procurement Policy Note for public sector organisations holding contracts with Russian or Belarusian suppliers.From:Cabinet Office and The Rt Hon Steve Barclay MPPublished28 March 2022
Guidance issued by the Cabinet Office today calls for all public sector organisations to urgently review contracts with Russian and Belarusian companies.
Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has already been met with resounding international condemnation and sanctions, with the UK imposing strict penalties on companies and individuals tied to the Putin regime.
The guidance issued today to public sector buying team recommends that public bodies, including Government departments and hospitals, immediately seek to identify any contracts with Russian and Belarusian companies and, if possible to switch suppliers with minimal disruption, pursue legal routes of cancelling them.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said:
Public money should not fund Putin’s war machine. We are asking hospitals, councils and other organisations across the public sector to urgently look at all the ways they can go further to sever their commercial ties to Russia.
The government will continue to work closely with these organisations, ensuring they are able to take the necessary steps as quickly as possible, including taking legal routes where necessary.
Less than 4% of the UK’s natural gas supply comes from Russia and the government’s British Energy Security Strategy will set out the UK’s long term plans for greater energy security, including in relation to both cheap renewables and domestic oil and gas supplies. While all energy suppliers purchase their energy from the same wholesale markets, we are aware some may have links to the Russian state through their company structures and so firms should consider whether contracts with them could be benefitting the Russian regime.
The announcement follows recent calls from the Chancellor for firms to “think very carefully” about any investments that would in any way support the barbaric Putin regime. After receiving commitments from BP, Shell and others, he insisted there was no argument for new investment in the Russian economy from UK firms.
On Thursday, the Foreign Secretary announced a further 65 sanctions on Russian-linked industries and organisations which means the UK has now sanctioned more than 1,000 Russian individuals and businesses since the conflict began.
Notes to editors:
- The Procurement Policy Note can be found here
- The governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will issue their own guidance.