Social procurement objectives and outcomes
The Social Procurement Framework outlines the Victorian Government’s social procurement objectives and corresponding social outcomes.
In total, there are seven social procurement objectives, which align with important Government work in relation to Aboriginal businesses and social enterprises, Victorian Aboriginal people and Victorians with disability, gender equality and the prevention of family violence, industrial relations and secure employment, and socio-economic disadvantage.
|Social procurement objectives||Outcomes sought|
|Opportunities for Victorian Aboriginal people|
|Opportunities for Victorians with disability|
|Women’s equality and safety|
|Opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians|
|Supporting safe and fair workplaces|
|Sustainable Victorian social enterprise and Aboriginal business sectors|
|Sustainable Victorian regions|
For all social outcomes that relate to job-readiness and employment, it is recommended that the focus be on responding to demonstrated employer/industry workforce needs and providing pathways to employment that are likely to be sustained over time.
Sustainable procurement objectives and outcomes
The Social Procurement Framework outlines the Victorian Government’s sustainable procurement objectives and corresponding sustainable outcomes. In this context, ‘sustainable’ refers to environmental sustainability.
In total, there are three sustainable procurement objectives, which align with important work being undertaken by the Victorian Government in relation to promoting environmental sustainability in the use of resources and addressing climate change.
|Sustainable procurement objectives||Outcomes sought|
|Environmentally sustainable outputs|
|Environmentally sustainable business practices|
|Implementation of the Climate Change Policy Objectives|
Social procurement commitments
A social procurement commitment is a commitment made by a supplier to deliver a social or sustainable outcome through an individual procurement activity. The Victorian Government considers that all suppliers can deliver one or more of these outcomes when doing business with Government.
The outcomes that Government is seeking to achieve in an individual procurement activity will be identified in expressions of interest and invitations to supply. In this context:
- an ‘expression of interest’ (also known as a ‘request for information’) is used to identify suppliers interested in, and capable of, delivering goods, services or construction required by Government. Potential suppliers are asked to provide information on their capability and capacity to do the work. It is usually the first stage of a multi-stage procurement process;
- an ‘invitation to supply’ is a process of inviting offers to supply goods, services or construction. This process covers requests for quotation and requests for tender. The ‘request for quotation’ is a written process of inviting offers to supply goods, services or construction involving simple documentation and a limited number of potential suppliers, whereas a ‘request for tender’ is an invitation to supply or a request for offer against a set of clearly defined and specified requirements and invitees are advised of all requirements involved including the conditions of participation and proposed contract conditions.
Suppliers will have an opportunity to make social procurement commitments and explain how they will comply with, report on, and verify compliance with, these commitments. When the preferred supplier has been selected, social procurement commitments will form part of the contract between Government and the supplier.
Compliance with social procurement commitments
Compliance arrangements will be identified in invitations to supply and form part of the contract between Government and the preferred supplier.
Where a supplier is experiencing difficulties meeting their social procurement commitments, it is expected that this will be reported by the supplier to the contract manager and that both parties will seek to manage the issue to achieve a reasonable compliance outcome. The ‘contract manager’ is the person nominated in the contract as responsible for managing the day-to-day matters of the contract.
A supplier’s failure to undertake all reasonable measures to achieve compliance with its social procurement commitments may be determined by the department or agency to constitute a material breach of contract.
Non-compliance with social procurement commitments will be considered in any assessment or review of the supplier’s eligibility to participate in future Government procurement activities.
Key focus areas
The social and sustainable outcomes in the Social Procurement Framework may also be categorised according to key focus areas. There are three key focus areas:
- Supplier attributes – some social outcomes focus on the attributes of the supplier, namely whether it is a ‘social benefit supplier’.
- Social or sustainable business practices – some social and sustainable outcomes focus on the supplier’s business practices, such as the adoption of family violence leave or environmentally sustainable business practices.
- Social or sustainable outputs – some social and sustainable outcomes focus on outputs of the supplier’s business or outputs of the individual procurement activity, such as the employment provided to Victorians with disability or reduction of waste and pollution.
This categorisation is particularly useful in relation to the sourcing phase of the procurement lifecycle. Social procurement – Individual procurement activity requirements explains how government buyers can embed social procurement into the sourcing phase.
Each key focus area recognises the different social and sustainable outcomes that can be delivered and should help government buyers understand how social and sustainable outcomes can be incorporated into invitations to supply and subsequent contracts between Government and the preferred supplier(s).
There is some overlap between the three key focus areas, as some social and sustainable outcomes can be framed as focusing on either business practices or outputs. For example, if the social outcome of ‘employment of Victorians with disability by suppliers to the Victorian Government’ were prioritised in an invitation to supply, suppliers may be asked to:
- demonstrate inclusive employment practices in relation to Victorians with disability (i.e. a focus on business practices); and/or
- set performance standards or targets for employment outcomes for Victorians with disability, such as the number of labour hours to be performed (i.e. a focus on outputs).
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