Scope of the Social Procurement Framework

Find out which organisations must comply with the Social Procurement Framework and the scope of activities covered by the framework.


The Social Procurement Framework is a ‘whole of government’ procurement policy that embodies the Victorian Government’s commitment to social procurement. 

The Social Procurement Framework applies to the procurement of all goods, services and construction undertaken by, or on behalf of, Victorian Government departments and agencies from 1 September 2018.  

Mandated agencies

Departments and agencies that are subject to the Standing Directions 2018 under the Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic) must comply with the Social Procurement Framework. 

Victorian public bodies that are not subject to the Standing Directions are encouraged to apply the Social Procurement Framework to their procurement activities. 

To determine whether your agency is subject to the Standing Directions, see Is your agency subject to the Standing Directions under the financial Management Act 1994 – Updated July 2019, available at Standing Directions 2018 under the Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic)

Mandatory requirements established by the Social Procurement Framework apply to departments, agencies and government buyers. In this context, government buyer means the individual(s) responsible for planning, sourcing and/or approving the goods, services or construction being procured. This definition includes end users, project control boards and financial delegates.  

Activities covered by the Social Procurement Framework 

The Social Procurement Framework applies where Government provides any level of procurement funding to an individual procurement activity undertaken by, or on behalf of, a department or agency (i.e. irrespective of whether the activity is entirely or partly funded by Government procurement funding).  

Social procurement applies to public-private partnerships, alliance contracts and market-led proposals 

The Social Procurement Framework applies to public-private partnerships, alliance contracts and market-led proposals where Government provides: 

  • procurement funding to the activity; or 
  • other forms of approval or support to the activity. This includes regulatory approval and involvement in the any phase of the procurement lifecycle.  

Government encourages participants to apply the Social Procurement Framework to the entire activity. 

The following table contains more information about these types of procurement. 

Public-private partnerships Long-term contracts between the public and private sectors where the Victorian Government (or direct users) pays the private sector to deliver infrastructure and related services on behalf of, or in support of, the Victorian Government’s broader service responsibilities. Private sector parties who build the infrastructure are typically responsible for its condition and operation on a whole-of-life basis. 
Alliance contracting A method of procuring, and sometimes managing, major capital assets where the Victorian Government works collaboratively with private sector parties to deliver the project. Under an alliance contract, parties work as an integrated, collaborative team to deal with key project delivery matters. 
Market-led proposals (also known as unsolicited proposals) Proposals made by the private sector to the Victorian Government to build infrastructure and/or provide services. They originate within the private sector and involve proponents developing a project or service specification and then approaching Government for approval and support of the proposal. Market-led proposals may be entirely funded by the private sector. 

Social procurement does not apply to grants 

The Social Procurement Framework does not apply where the Victorian Government provides grants or other forms of financial assistance (sponsorships or donations). 

Tools and support

This content on this page is taken from the Social Procurement Framework – Buyer Guidance – Guide to key concepts. Access a PDF version in the social procurement document library

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

Reviewed 09 October 2019

Buying for Victoria

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