Social benefit suppliers and mainstream suppliers
There are two types of government suppliers: social benefit suppliers and mainstream suppliers.
A social benefit supplier operates and has business premises in Victoria and meets one or more of the following criteria:
- is a social enterprise, certified by Social Traders or listed on the online social enterprise Map for Impact
- is an Australian disability enterprise providing ‘supported employment services’ as defined in s. 7 of the Disability Services Act 1986 (Cth)
- is a Victorian Aboriginal business, verified by or
To count an engagement in its social procurement activity reports, a department or agency must ensure the social benefit supplier is verified.
A mainstream supplier is any supplier that is not a social benefit supplier.
Direct and indirect social procurement
The Government uses social procurement both directly and indirectly to deliver social and sustainable outcomes. Government buyers consider opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes as part of every procurement activity.
In the direct approach, departments or agencies purchase goods, services or construction from a verified social benefit supplier.
In the indirect approach, departments or agencies purchase goods, services or construction from a ‘mainstream supplier’ using invitations to supply and clauses in contracts to deliver social and sustainable outcomes.
This includes subcontracting social benefit suppliers in supply chains.
What suppliers need to demonstrate
When making purchasing decisions under the Framework, government buyers also consider whether verified social benefit suppliers:
- are suitably qualified
- demonstrate experience and have a proven track record
- have the capacity and scale to deliver the requisite work
- comply with mandatory government agency contract terms
- comply with all relevant industry standards, regulations and legislation
- are competitively priced
- have business practices that align with the Framework, such as a corporate social responsibility policy, gender or disability action plans or engagement with social benefit suppliers
How social procurement benefits suppliers
Social procurement is good for Victorian businesses. As well as integrating positive social and environmental outcomes with core business, being able to demonstrate these outcomes makes suppliers more competitive when bidding for government work.
It also helps to foster workplace diversity, capability and productivity, and contributes to innovative solutions for complex social, economic and environmental problems.
Social procurement strategies and summary of priorities
The Social Procurement Framework applies to more than 275 government agencies and departments. In applying the Framework, each agency or department identifies priority social procurement objectives, and their annual reports will include progress towards the achievement of their social procurement goals. This provides suppliers with useful information about the priorities for the coming year.
The following table shows the objectives prioritised by each of the departments and core agencies in 2019-20.
Reporting of social and sustainable achievements
To support the preparation of the 2020-21 Social Procurement Framework Annual Report, a Local Jobs First / Social Procurement Framework Reporting Solution will be released in December 2020.
The reporting solution allows government buyers to record procurements that include social and or sustainable commitments, and suppliers to report their achievements against those commitments.
This will assist both the government buyer and suppliers to meet their Social Procurement Framework reporting obligations and provide a richer understanding of the achievements made by the more than 275 government entities eligible to report under the Social Procurement Framework. Moving forward, this will assist in setting benchmarks for future gains.
Find out more
Reviewed 05 July 2023