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Invitations to supply and social procurement - suppliers

Learn about the steps a supplier must take when responding to an Invitation to Supply that has social procurement requirements.

Responding to tenders

These important steps will help suppliers respond to social procurement requirements in tenders.

Understand the objectives

Invitations to supply comprise 4 parts: 

  1. The Invitation
  2. Conditions of Participation
  3. Proposed Contract 
  4. The Offer

The Invitation

The Invitation outlines the procurement opportunity. It describes the goods and/or services an Agency is seeking from a supplier.

The Invitation section outlines the:

  • rules for the tender, including when and how to submit an offer
  • evaluation criteria that apply 
  • relevant Social Procurement Framework objectives 

Some Invitations to Supply include requirements from Government policies or set targets to employ people from specific groups. Agencies also prioritise different Social Procurement Framework objectives. 

Suppliers should review the evaluation criteria to:

  • learn how important social procurement is
  • check if it prioritises specific social and sustainable outcomes. 
  • check if it lists other Government policies such as Local Jobs First

Learn more about Social Procurement objectives, outcomes and key focus areas.

Conditions of Participation

The Conditions of Participation sets out the rules applying to the Invitation to Supply process. It sets out the Victorian Government’s terms and conditions and the specific requirements of the supplier. 

The Contract

The contract defines the relationship between the Agency and the supplier. Commitments to deliver social and sustainable outcomes will form part of the contract. The contract also outlines the reporting requirements.

The Offer

The Offer section has the schedules suppliers must complete. 

This section also has the:

  • Social Procurement Commitment Proposal (see below) 

Seek clarity if needed

Suppliers must read all of the tender, including any social procurement requirements.

If they have questions, they can ask the Contact officer nominated in the Invitation documents.

For example, where can they submit written questions? 

Suppliers can contact the nominated Contact officer about tender briefings. These briefings give access to Agency expertise. Before attending tender briefings, suppliers should make a list of their questions. 

Assess options for responding to the social procurement requirements

Suppliers have different options to achieve social and sustainable outcomes. For example, this could be:

  • employing priority Victorian jobseekers 
  • subcontracting to social benefit suppliers 
  • deliver environmentally sustainable outputs and practices
  • advancing gender equality

For more ideas, refer to the document: Responding to Social Procurement Framework objectives.

Suppliers can also discuss their options with an intermediary or support service listed under Support for suppliers.

Write your response

Suppliers should outline how they will achieve social and sustainable outcomes in their tender response. They should include information and supporting evidence to show this. For example:

  • relevant policies and agreements with subcontractors
  • references from social benefit suppliers showing positive outcomes from previous jobs

Also include the ‘value add’ of the suppliers’ organisation.

Suppliers must complete a Social Procurement Commitment Proposal, included in the tender. A Social Procurement Commitment Proposal details what social and sustainable outcomes a supplier will deliver and how they will deliver them. For ideas for how to do this, refer to Planning for social and sustainable outcomes.

Get help from a support organisation

Support organisations connect suppliers to one another. They also help suppliers with their tender responses. 

For more details, refer to Support for suppliers.

Tips for a good response

Suppliers should:

  • understand the social procurement and other tender requirements
  • know what is unique about their business and how this helps deliver social and sustainable outcomes
  • show evidence of their ability to deliver social and sustainable outcomes and outline their successes
  • connect with other suppliers with whom they are bidding. Agree on the best way to achieve social and sustainable outcomes
  • find ways to address social procurement aims
  • develop a Social Procurement Commitment Proposal

Gather feedback

Suppliers can contact the buyer for feedback. 

Buyer feedback increases the chance of success of a supplier’s future submission. If a bid is successful, buyer feedback can help suppliers draw on the strengths in their proposal. They can apply this to future Invitations to Supply.

Issues for panel suppliers

Over time, Victorian Government state purchase contracts, registers and panels will embed social procurement requirements.

If a supplier is a Victorian Government panel member or state purchase contract holder, they should plan how they will meet social procurement requirements. 

For advice on planning, refer to Planning for social and sustainable outcomes.

Support

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

Reviewed 13 April 2021

Buying for Victoria

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