Types of suppliers
There are two types of government suppliers: social benefit suppliers and mainstream suppliers.
Social benefit supplier
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 or listed on the online social enterprise Map for
- 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 Supply 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.
Direct social procurement
In the direct approach, departments or agencies use a Victorian Government procurement process or an established State Purchase Contract to purchase goods, services or construction from a verified social benefit supplier.
Indirect social procurement
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 Social Procurement 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 Social Procurement 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.
Find out more
Find more information for suppliers and government on the Victorian Government Social Procurement Framework website.
For Social Procurement Framework questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recycled is a new Victorian Government policy that requires bidders on government infrastructure projects to demonstrate how they will optimise the use of sustainable products.
Sustainability Victoria’s Buy directory helps you find products with recycled content.
For industry-specific queries, call Jobs Victoria on 1300 208 575 or email email@example.com
Business also has information on selling to government.
Reviewed 05 October 2022