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Responsible Relationships

What responsible relationships means to us

We build honest, respectful and transparent relationships with customers, partners and suppliers who share our ethical standards and who follow regulatory compliance.





Our policy and commitment

Our commitment is defined within our Business Conduct and Ethics and Procurement Policy Statements, supporting standards and related operating procedures.

In summary, we strive to:

  • only work with customers, partners and suppliers who respect our Values and meet our standards of business conduct and ethics;
  • complete legal, ethical and human rights due diligence on proposed key third parties, relating to any aspect of our Business Lifecycle, and conduct ongoing monitoring throughout the lifetime of the relationship;
  • complete robust analysis of requirements and establish a clear management structure (aligned to the Serco Management System and overall strategies for each business opportunity) for third-party arrangements considered necessary to meet contract requirements, including joint ventures, strategic partnerships and consortium arrangements; and
  • apply robust supplier sourcing and selection criteria, and monitor supplier performance to inform relationship management and identify opportunities for improvement.

Key components in our governance

  • Our Investment Committee provides formal oversight and approval of contractual structures and arrangements for any partner/strategic relationship, whilst Divisional Executive Management Teams are responsible for managing these relationships, including regular strategy and performance review meetings with partners, supported by members of the Executive Committee and plc Board as appropriate.
  • Divisional Legal Representatives manage all contractual arrangements with customers, partners and suppliers.
  • Our Procurement and Supply Chain Function delivers consistent procurement processes in the selection and management of suppliers, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, our ethical standards, Code of Conduct and human rights throughout our supply chain.
  • Our Supplier Code of Conduct clarifies our requirements and expectations regarding our suppliers and their facilities, wherever they are located.

For our business ethics governance, which covers any items relating to responsible relationships, see also: Behaving with integrity and treating people with respect

Our progress and performance in 2018

We have:

  • strengthened the human rights elements in our Supplier Code of Conduct;
  • developed a new questionnaire for enhanced supplier due diligence, focusing on how our Tier 1 suppliers manage modern slavery risks within their own supply chains;
  • completed a review of our third-party due diligence process, including quality of reports and information provided; and
  • commenced reporting our supplier payment performance per new UK regulations introduced in 2017. In 2018, 83.09% of our supplier invoices were paid on time, putting Serco in the top quartile of reporting companies but still with room for improvement.

In our previous report we advised that in 2018 we would deploy the new Supplier Relationship Management solution piloted in the UK during 2017. This work has since been placed under review whilst alternative priorities have taken precedence.

Key performance indicators

For performance commentary, see: Corporate Responsibility KPIs

  Key performance indicators:




Third party due diligence screening




Third parties validated




Third parties pending review




Third parties disqualified




Our next steps

We will:

  • publish new guidance on ethical and human rights due diligence for new geography entry and the selection and appointment of partners;
  • review our third-party due diligence process to enable different risk tolerances to be applied at initial assessment and through ongoing monitoring; and
  • trial our new Tier 2+ supply chain questionnaire for modern slavery due diligence.