Introduction to the Social Procurement Framework

Find out why the Victorian Government is committed to social procurement and how the Social Procurement Framework applies to procurement activities.

Victoria’s commitment to social procurement

Victorian Government procurement is one of the largest drivers in the Victorian economy. In 2016-17, the Victorian Government spent $16 billion on goods and services to support service delivery and operations, in addition to a spend of $9.1 billion on public construction and infrastructure. Annual infrastructure spending alone will average $9.6 billion from 2017-18 to 2020-21 to deliver the current pipeline of projects.

Value for money is the key driver underpinning all Victorian Government procurement decisions. Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework aims to ensure value-for-money considerations are not solely focused on price, but encompass opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes that benefit the Victorian community.

The framework sets out a whole of government scalable and consistent approach to social procurement for all Government departments and agencies. For suppliers, whether they be major businesses or small to medium enterprises, the framework advises how to incorporate social value when competing for government procurement opportunities.

Victoria’s commitment to social procurement reflects a growing national and international focus on the strategic use of procurement to drive social, economic, and environmental outcomes, including recent activity such as:

  • the new 2017 ISO: 20400 Sustainable Procurement Standard, which has created a global framework to stimulate the integration of social, economic, and environmental objectives into strategic procurement practice
  • the planned update to the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia Rating Scheme, which will now include social and local economic objectives, influencing future construction development practice
  • rapidly growing leadership and support from the private sector through the establishment of targets for purchasing goods and services from social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses, investment in skills development and employment for disadvantaged community members in major projects, and inclusion of practices that support environmental sustainability beyond compliance requirements

Purpose of the Social Procurement Framework

The framework seeks to streamline and embed social procurement within ordinary government processes. The framework is informed by the following guiding principles:

  • a standard and consistent approach across the Victorian Government
  • easy to understand and adopt with minimal administrative burden for all businesses, especially small and medium enterprises
  • simple for government to embed in everyday business
  • scalable for all sizes and types of businesses and suppliers
  • user-friendly and supported with guidance, education, tools, and templates
  • able to be effectively measured and reported
  • demonstrates Government leadership in promoting the use of social procurement across Victoria.

Application of the Social Procurement Framework

The framework – and accompanying guidance materials – applies to procurement of all goods, services and construction undertaken by, or on behalf of, departments and agencies subject to the Standing Directions 2018 under the Financial Management Act 1994. Other Victorian public bodies are encouraged to adopt the framework.

The framework establishes:

  • the Victorian Government’s social and sustainable procurement objectives
  • framework requirements and expectations, for individual procurement activities and for department and agency procurement planning
  • measurement and reporting requirements

Example of social procurement in action

Public Tenant Employment Program – Departmental programs delivering training and employment pathways

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Tenant Employment Program helps public housing residents across Victoria gain the hands-on experience and training they need to enter the workforce. One of the longest running Victorian Government social procurement initiatives, the program provides an important pathway for those who want to gain secure employment, but may lack the skills or confidence to find work. The Public Tenant Employment Program provides:

  • a free recruiting service to help fill job vacancies
  • easy to use online forms to lodge job vacancies
  • ongoing support for the lifetime of the partnership
  • subsidised construction industry apprenticeships for public housing residents

Tools and support

This content on this page is taken from Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework. Access a PDF version in the social procurement document library.

For more information about social procurement, please contact the Social Procurement team.