Tag Archives: NSW

Submission: Ethical Clothing Extended Responsibilities Scheme 2005 (NSW)

The Inquiry into the Ethical Clothing Extended Responsibilities Scheme 2005 (NSW), undertaken by the Modern Slavery Committee, is a comprehensive evaluation focused on the Scheme’s role in mitigating modern slavery within the clothing manufacturing sector of New South Wales (NSW). It delves into the textiles, clothing, and footwear (TCF) industry’s characteristics, examining aspects such as industry size, workforce demographics, supply chain complexities, and the prevalence of modern slavery. Additionally, the inquiry reviews the Scheme’s current application, its alignment with international human rights standards, and the need for any modifications to enhance its effectiveness. It also explores the Scheme’s enforceability, including methods to promote compliance, and considers extending the Scheme to other industries vulnerable to modern slavery due to their supply chain characteristics. This investigation is crucial for identifying strategies to combat modern slavery, ensuring that the TCF industry, and potentially other sectors, operate in line with global human rights commitments and provide better protection for workers in NSW.

My co-authored submission offers several recommendations to enhance the Ethical Clothing Extended Responsibilities Scheme to mitigate modern slavery within the clothing manufacturing sector NSW:

  1. Promote Supply Chain Mapping: The scheme’s unique approach to examining the entire supply chain from retailer to outworker helps in identifying vulnerabilities and instances of modern slavery that may be overlooked by Commonwealth legislation. It’s suggested that state action is needed to mandate such mapping for smaller entities not covered at the Commonwealth level.
  2. Create a Supply Chain Database: The establishment of a comprehensive database to capture detailed supply chain information is recommended. This would aid various stakeholders, including the NSW Office of Industrial Relations, the Fair Work Ombudsman, and the NSW Anti-Slavery Commissioner, by providing them with readily accessible information.
  3. Articulate Collaboration between Government Agencies: The proposals for supply chain mapping and database creation are in line with the objectives of both NSW and Commonwealth governments to combat modern slavery. The recommendation emphasizes enhanced inter-agency collaboration, which can augment existing policy goals and lead to more effective oversight and action against modern slavery within supply chains.
  4. Explore Extension of the Scheme: The recommendation suggests that the scheme could serve as a model for other industries. By enhancing transparency, accountability, and worker protection, it could pave the way for similar oversight in industries that are at high risk of modern slavery and labor standards violations, especially those industries with many entities below the Modern Slavery Act (2018) reporting threshold.

Submission: Procurement Practices of NSW Government Agencies

The inquiry into the procurement practices of government agencies in New South Wales (NSW) focuses on examining how these practices impact the social development of its citizens. It seeks to assess the current state of procurement, including the value, policies, and adherence to the NSW Procurement Policy Framework. The effectiveness of existing procurement arrangements in ensuring value for money and compliance with regulations, particularly labour laws, is a key area of investigation. The inquiry also looks into the capacity of procurement officials to assess suppliers and ensure compliance throughout the procurement process. Opportunities for co-regulation and incentives to improve labour market governance and enforcement through procurement are considered to achieve both economic efficiency and social outcomes. Evaluation criteria for tenders, emphasizing local content, value for money, social and environmental considerations, innovation, and subcontracting arrangements, are scrutinized. The transparency and accountability of procurement practices, the government’s ability to prioritize local content, jobs, training opportunities, diversity, and inclusion, and support for local suppliers and small and medium enterprises¬† are also under review. Furthermore, the inquiry explores procurement best practices from other jurisdictions to encourage ethical conduct and promote social development, along with any other related matters. Through this comprehensive examination, the inquiry aims to identify ways in which procurement practices can be optimized to contribute positively to the social development of NSW residents.

My co-authored submission offers several recommendations to enhance the social impact of procurement practices:

  1. Establish Centralised Procurement Oversight: Create a central authority within the NSW government to ensure compliance with procurement guidelines and audit practices.
  2. Lower Threshold for Contract Disclosure: Reduce the disclosure threshold for government contracts to improve transparency and public trust.
  3. Prioritise Local Suppliers: Introduce policies that emphasize social returns on investment and support for local businesses.
  4. Social Procurement Clauses: Include social criteria in procurement decisions to promote job security, indigenous employment, compliance with health and safety laws, and worker representation.
  5. Supplier Debarment: Introduce mechanisms for managing suppliers based on their conduct, including watchlists and do-not-engage lists, to ensure ethical business practices.