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Telecoms contracts awarded with new criteria and savings of 30%

Barcelona City Council has awarded its contract for telecommunications services, for the first time ever obliging winning contractors to satisfy new social, labour and environmental criteria. One of the most notable new clauses is for companies awarded contracts to apply the relevant labour agreement and guarantee workers’ conditions, as well as those working for sub-contracted companies.

The contract covers the provision of mobile phone, landlines, data and special numbering services for the City Council and is worth 2,853,845 euros a year (5,707,689.94 euros over two years), representing a saving of 29,5% compared to current contracts.

The contract retains the format of five independent lots to facilitate competition between operators and also proposes improvements such as the 010 municipal public information number becoming a freephone service.

As a result of the public competition, and having studied the technical and economic aspects of the bids, Vodafone España SAU becomes the city’s main telephone provider with three lots, while Telefònica de España SAU will provide the two internet services.

The contract has been awarded as follows:

  • LOT 1. Fixed line phone services and systems (corporative and non-corporative). Vodafone España SAU
  • LOT 2. Voice and mobile data communication services. Vodafone España SAU
  • LOT 3. Special number service. Vodafone España SAU
  • LOT 4. Centralised internet access (corporative). Telefónica de España SAU
  • LOT 5. Distributed internet access. Telefónica de España SAU

New social and environmental criteria

For the first time ever, the new contract obliges providers to abide by new social, labour and environmental measures. It also includes improvements such as making the 010 information number a freephone service; building into the contract the Wi-Fi service for the entire bus network and increasing levels of quality and security for services.

The companies awarded the contract will be obliged to apply the relevant labour agreement and guarantee that conditions for their own workers and those of sub-contracted companies are respected.

Likewise, it is obligatory to comply with international regulations on human rights, particularly in terms of protecting workers and childhood, with providers obliged to state where their hardware and electronic items come from.

In the case of the operator providing mobile phones, the company will have to include fairphones and establish social programmes in the city.

These social programmes must bring benefits for the public and be linked to training for the elderly in the use of smartphones, leisure and sustainable culture programmes (favouring accessibility at theatres for people with sensorial disabilities) and digital training for young social entrepreneurs.

The following clauses are obligatory:

  • Compliance with legally established work conditions, current labour agreement, social legislation, occupational risk prevention, gender equality, social integration of people with functional disability, data protection, environmental and tax obligations.
  • Compliance with international human rights regulations, particularly relating to the protection of workers and childhood.
  • Confirmation of the origin of hardware used for the contract and the location of factories where it was manufactured.
  • Contracted providers are expressly obliged to comply with tax regulations relating to turnover and profits made.
  • Compliance with the Mayoral Decree of 19 May 2016 relating to measures preventing providers for the City Council having any activity in tax havens and acceptance from provider companies to undergo any corresponding audits.

Fair labour conditions for workers carrying out the contract

According to the contract specifications, the company awarded the contract is obliged to apply the relevant collective labour agreement to guarantee conditions for their own workers and workers at sub-contracted companies who are specifically employed in relation to the contract.

A series of clauses and measures on social and environmental sustainability will also be taken into account, including gender equality and the social integration of people with functional diversity.

Ethical public procurement

The contract specifications oblige companies to comply with international human rights regulations, particularly in relation to workers and children’s rights. It includes a clause establishing that the assets and services which are the object of the contract must be produced respecting current social and labour regulations in Spain and the EU, approved by the International Labour Organisation.

Likewise, the contract obliges companies to provide full information for Barcelona City Council, or the authorised entity, to ensure ethical procurement. At present, the international observatory Electronic Watch conducts these audits independently, striving to guarantee purchasing which is sustainable, oriented to fair trade and which respects human rights.

To this end, a traceability clause has been included which oversees and analyses the manufacturing processes of devices and electronic consumables offered, obliging companies to provide information on their origin.

In the case of the contract for mobile phones, a new feature in the contract meant points were given for companies offering fair trade terminals which guarantee human rights, fair work conditions and appropriate waste management all through their production chain.

In the same vein, economic criteria carried less weight in the evaluation of bids, helping other social and environmental aspects to have more importance.

New improvements compared to the current contract

The new contract includes a series of improvements in the way the administration works and the presentation of services offered to the public:

  • Upgrade to the various voice platforms.
  • Platform for managing videoconferencing.
  • Increased mobile data capacity for users.
  • Inclusion of Wi-Fi service on public transport (buses) in the contract.
  • Increase capacity for access to the City Council’s corporate internet.
  • Improve internet management to prevent IT attacks, increase control and efficiency of the service.
  • Replace as many ADSL connections as possible with fibre optic connections.
  • Big Data: provide the City Council with free data on user mobility and volumetrics in the city of Barcelona to be able to carry out urban mobility studies. Content and frequency to be agreed on with the operator.
  • Free up all mobile phones.
  • Socially responsible public contracts: the City Council, affiliated to the organisation Electronics Watch, will strive to comply with standards on socially responsible procurement.
  • VINCLES programme: service for 400 users over a six month period.


A series of additional services and improvements were also taken into account in the process to award the contract:

  • Inclusion of social programmes in the city.
  • Improvements on the technical requisites tendered at no extra.
  • Inclusion of sustainable terminals in the offer.
  • System for recycling mobile phones, incorporating socially responsible companies.

The new contract is for two years, with the possibility of extending it a further two. It comes into effect early in 2017. The new freephone 010 service is expected to be operative in the first quarter of 2017.




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