Seek legal advice if there is uncertainty as to how the duty might affect the design and process of a particular procurement.
Where contractors are subject to the gender duty directly, in tandem with the public authority
In certain circumstances, a private contractor may also be deemed to be providing a service of a public nature and therefore bound by the general duty11. In such a case, the public authority which is contracting out services will nonetheless remain subject to the duty and can discharge this duty by:
ensuring that it has due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity in the procurement process
ensuring that contractors adequately discharge the duty on behalf of the public authority
monitoring the contract.
Public authorities may be involved in partnerships in order to better deliver their services – for example, community safety partnerships or early years development and childcare partnerships.
Where those partnerships do not have a separate legal identity in their own right, they will not be bound collectively by the gender equality duty. Nevertheless, public authorities that are involved in partnership work with other public authorities, or with private or voluntary sector organisations, are still responsible for meeting their gender duty and any specific duties.
In practice, this will mean that a public authority working within a partnership will need to secure agreement from its partners to arrangements for planning, funding and managing joint work that will allow it to meet its statutory gender duty.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as amended by the Police Reform Act 2002 sets out statutory requirements for responsible authorities to work with other local agencies and organisations to develop and implement strategies to tackle crime and disorder and misuse of drugs in their area. These statutory partnerships are known as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) or Community Safety Partnerships in Wales. The responsible authorities are:
- the police
- local authorities
- fire authorities
- police authorities
- local health boards in Wales, and
- primary care trusts in England.
Working together these authorities are required to carry out an audit to identify crime and
11 See Appendix A for further details on when a private contractor would itself be bound by the general duty. In such cases, the private contractor should follow the procedures and guidance set out in Chapter 2.