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Accountability and Monitoring Report 2021 released


ACT has released the Accountability and Monitoring Framework 2021 report – a candid look at the status quo of ACT member brands on their implementation of the Global ACT Purchasing Practices Commitments. The report compiles survey results from key stakeholders involved in ACT brand members supply chains to provide an even handed evaluation of progress as well as identifying areas requiring concerted focus and investment.  

In May 2021 ACT member brands completed the ACT Commitment Reporting Questionnaire on how well their companies are meeting each of the five ACT Global Purchasing Practices Commitments. In the Accountability and Monitoring Report the results of this questionnaire are scrutinised by comparing them with responses from staff within each ACT member brand and with the perception of manufacturers supplying ACT member brands.

The internal staff survey, the Purchasing Practices Self-Assessment (PPSA) engaged a broad range of teams with each ACT member brand, from design to sourcing and buying on the deployment of the ACT Purchasing Practices Commitments and training and level of awareness. 1,831 brand employees contributed to the PPSA in 2021. The supplier survey, the Purchasing Practices Assessment (PPA), mirrored the brand staff survey (PPSA) in order to ask suppliers and manufacturers how they experience and assess the brands’ purchasing practices. 1,338 suppliers responded in the survey roll-out in 2021.

This  report covers the five ACT Global Purchasing Practices Commitments; including labour as Itemised costs, responsible exit, fair terms of payment, planning and forecasting and training. On the whole, brand and supplier participants confirmed the implementation and effectiveness of the ACT Commitments. For example, there are mechanisms in place to track terms of payment and on-time payments, and most brands have forecasting and capacity planning systems in place. There was also very limited variance between the scores brand and suppliers gave where a discrepancy would have been expected. 

The survey results also detail critical areas for improvement. The report captures a pressing need to continue to implement policy and mechanisms to enact the ACT Purchasing Practises Commitments. Less than half of ACT member brands, for example, have a monitoring mechanism in place to track the application of the ACT labour costing protocol. The report also underlines the need to continue investing in the training to ensure suppliers and manufacturers and brand staff are equipped and aware of the commitments and the derived processes and practices. 

“An even handed, evidence based approach to assessing purchasing practices is a critical building block towards living wages” says ACT Executive Director Mira Neumaier. “Purchasing practices can undermine progress on every human rights issue in the global garment industry. The industry needs more than bold commitments. The ACT Accountability and Monitoring report is an opportunity for transparency, providing the leadership and accountability required for meaningful industry collaboration. For ACT brands the report provides crucial feedback on areas of progress and future concern.”