Government controls in public procurement

The Confederation awards contracts for services in Switzerland only to companies guaranteeing compliance with the Federal Act on Public Procurement. This covers working conditions, industrial safety regulations (Employment Act; Accident Insurance Act) and equal pay for men and women (Equality Act).

This is intended to safeguard social achievements that guarantee industrial peace and that prevent undesired socio-political effects and competitive bias. Persons complying with the legal provisions shall not be disadvantaged in favour of those who do not. Competitive bias against employers who respect equal pay shall be avoided.

Audits and sanctions

The Confederation's procurement offices can conduct equal pay audits themselves or enlist external help. Should pay discrimination be detected in a tendering company, the procurement office concerned has the following options:

  • issue a contract penalty;
  • withdraw acceptance of the bid or exclude the bidder from the tender procedure;
  • terminate or withdraw from contract, if this has already been signed.

Cooperation with cantonal and communal authorities

The FOGE provides the cantons and communes with information and advice on how to implement equal pay audits. The audited organisations also benefit from this as their administrative burden is reduced.

The FOGE offers the following services to interested authorities:

  • Advice on the implementation and conduct of equal pay audits;
  • Advice from specialists who can also be engaged to conduct equal pay audits;
  • Advice on tenders and contracts for analyses, preparation of standardised documents and good practice;
  • Training for specialists from the public administration.

Request for financial support

A further possibility open to cantons and communes wishing to implement equal pay audits in public procurement or when awarding subsidies is to apply to the FOGE for financial support.

Further information