The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 places all legal burden on the public sector body. Suppliers are not directly held responsible for the accessibility of their products that you decide to use.
While there are some complexities to some 3rd party content responsibilities in the regulations, it is normally safe to assume that if you have paid for a service by a 3rd party supplier, you will want them to make the product as accessible as possible to help you comply with your regulation obligations.
With no direct recourse in the regulations to hold suppliers responsible, it is important to include clauses on accessibility into contract negotiations. Sometimes just the written requirement that the supplier will provide a product or service which complies with all relevant pieces of legislation may be suitable, but it is always best to be as specific as possible.
- A requirement for the supplier to maintain and provide on request, up to date evidence on the accessibility compliance of a product or service.
- Information about what types of evidence documentation may be accepted.
- Information about what “accessibility compliance” means in the context and preferably. what technical standards the supplier would be expected to meet, for example WCAG 2.1 AA.
- A requirement for the supplier to detail in writing their plan and commitments on addressing an outstanding accessibility issues.
We have a contract clauses template which I helped bring together a while back in a previous role. At the time the clauses template was checked over by a public sector legal team.
We hope that the template will be of use to others, but as with any contact, these clauses may be negotiated by both parties, and we suggest that you still seek your own legal advice before use.
Contract clauses template download