It seems like a long time ago, but back in 2009, when I was working with manufacturers, I was part of a discussion concerning a Hume region social procurement policy. We brainstormed ways the regional government’s purchasing power could be used to generate positive social and economic outcomes together with efficient delivery of goods, services and works.
Social procurement is a great tool and in a few months’ time the Victorian Government will be using this as a new and different way to achieve strategic objectives. I’m keen to see how this works.
Social procurement is a way public sector spending can create employment opportunities or tackle local challenges, or even create economic development opportunities in our local communities – and still achieve project objectives.
The Gold Coast City Council, for example, has focused on social procurement since 2013. The City has a swathe of social procurement initiatives and contracts in place and purchases from numerous social enterprises including with Endeavour Foundation for recycling services at resource recovery centres and waste transfer stations, Wesley Mission Queensland for youth services at Council community services, Volunteering Gold Coast run their bus services and the Animal Welfare League of Queensland are contracted for their pound management services.
When you’re working with ratepayer or taxpayers’ funds, value for money has to be your key driver. Here in Victoria, this new approach will broaden the government’s ideas of what constitutes value-for-money to incorporate the balanced judgement of a range of financial and non-financial factors.
So! If you are a social business there are real opportunities coming up for you! Are you ready for this?
You can learn more about the Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework here.