Planning for Procurement

This section provides advice on considering accessibility in the preparatory stages preceding the tendering procedure. It describes the key principles for accessible procurement. It provides advice on how you can take into account accessibility in the step of analysing your actual needs, and how to include accessibility issues in the market analysis.

The preparatory stage of any procurement procedure is crucial. Before starting a tendering procedure, you should set aside enough time for defining the expected end result, assessing your actual needs, defining the subject of the contract and analyzing the market.

It is in the early stages of the procurement process where you lay the basis for an efficient inclusion of accessibility considerations in the tendering process. 

Example:

An agency is planning to outsource its ICT operations, including choice of technology, to an external supplier. The employment policy of the agency encourages diversity, so the staff of the agency might need assistive devices to use the ICT. In the market analysis, the agency should try to find out whether sufficiently many potential bidders have the necessary knowledge and capability to operate ICT containing assistive technology. If not, the agency may decide to keep the responsibility for assistive devices.

Example:

Any citizen must be able to communicate with a public agency by phone. However, some persons with hearing or speech impairments may need to communicate by text instead of voice in one or both directions. In the preparatory stage preceding procurement of telephony services, the agency has to analyze the needs of people with different types of disabilities. The agency must also identify available services dedicated to and used by e.g. deaf people, in order that procured services are able to interoperate with such services.

If you need to know or recall why you should take accessibility into account, please look at Key principles for accessible procurement. Assessing your business needs and user needs is of vital importance for a successful procurement procedure. You will find basic principles in Needs analysis. One of the key activities in the procurement process is to assure that the product or service offered and delivered actually has the requested characteristics and qualities. Such assurance is in this Toolkit referred to as Conformity assessment.

In Conformity assessment and attestations you will find

  • guidance on how you could refer to conformity assessment systems or schemes;  
  • examples of templates for declarations and certifications;
  • guidance on post-award conformity assessment.

The Follow the Procurement Stages provides guidance on how to take accessibility into account at each stage of the procurement process.