How suppliers work with the Social Procurement Framework in 2021-22

Learn about the role suppliers play in social procurement.

How suppliers work with the Framework

There are 2 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, certified by Supply Nation or Kinaway.

To count an engagement in its social procurement activity reports, a department or agency must ensure the social benefit supplier is certified.

A mainstream supplier is any supplier that is not a social benefit supplier.

Direct and indirect social procurement

The Victorian government delivers social and sustainable outcomes through both direct and indirect social procurement. Government buyers should consider opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes as part of every procurement activity.

Delivering direct procurement, departments or agencies undertake a Victorian Government procurement process or use an established state purchase contract to purchase goods, services or construction from a certified social benefit supplier.

When it comes to indirect procurement, 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 can include subcontracting social benefit suppliers in supply chains.

What suppliers need to demonstrate

When making purchasing decisions under the Framework, government buyers must apply the same due diligence for social benefit suppliers as they would for mainstream suppliers.

They should consider whether certified 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.

Social procurement benefits suppliers

The Framework integrates positive social and environmental outcomes with core business. The ability 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

More information for government buyers and suppliers about the Social Procurement Framework can be found on the Buying for Victoria website.

For Social Procurement Framework questions, please email socialprocurement@ecodev.vic.gov.au.

Recycled First is a Victorian Government policy that requires bidders on government road and rail projects to demonstrate how they will optimise the use of sustainable products.

Sustainability Victoria’s Buy Recycled directory helps you find products with recycled content.

Business Victoria also has information on selling to government.

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