Social procurement – Planning requirement for government buyers

Understand when and how government buyers are required to plan for social procurement.

Mandatory planning requirements for government buyers

The Social Procurement Framework requires government buyers to undertake social procurement planning in respect of individual procurement activities.

The level of social procurement planning that must be undertaken by government buyers depends on the value of the individual procurement activity (see Social procurement – determining the value of individual procurement activities):

  • for individual procurement activities valued below $20 million (exclusive of GST), government buyers must incorporate social and sustainable procurement objectives and outcomes into regular procurement planning
  • for each individual procurement activity valued at or above $20 million (exclusive of GST), government buyers must develop a Social Procurement Plan.

Incorporating social and sustainable procurement objectives and outcomes into regular procurement planning

To satisfy this requirement, government buyers should:

  • identify the types of regular procurement planning undertaken in relation to these activities
  • incorporate social procurement practices and considerations into each type of regular procurement planning, with a view to identifying and pursuing opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes.

Regular procurement planning includes, but is not limited to, the development of:

  • procurement activity plans (or equivalent forward-procurement plan)
  • category management plans
  • business cases
  • spend, contract and opportunity analyses
  • market analysis, market sounding and engagement strategy planning
  • complexity assessments
  • tender strategy planning
  • capability development plans
  • contract management plans.

Developing a Social Procurement Plan

To satisfy this requirement, the core components of a Social Procurement Plan may be incorporated into a departmental or agency Social Procurement Strategy or set out in a standalone document.

Where an individual procurement activity involves multiple, discrete packages of work and more than one package of work is valued at or above $20 million (exclusive of GST), government buyers may complete one Social Procurement Plan covering the entire activity (that is including all packages of work).

The Social Procurement Plan, or relevant components of a departmental or agency Social Procurement Strategy, must be approved by the financial delegate responsible for the procurement activity.

The Social Procurement Plan must:

  • outline the value, scale, complexity and strategic objectives of the individual procurement activity. Note that the Social Procurement Plan should be proportionate to the circumstances of the individual procurement activity
  • incorporate a social procurement opportunity analysis in respect of the individual procurement activity
  • clearly articulate which social and sustainable procurement objectives will be prioritised in the individual procurement activity and demonstrate how those objectives will be advanced (for example, involvement of social benefit suppliers, applicable requirements, performance standards or targets)
  • establish roles and responsibilities in relation to anticipated social procurement commitments for the individual procurement activity
  • demonstrate how supplier and stakeholder relations will be managed to ensure that social procurement commitments are met, including how progress will be measured and reported on over the life of the individual procurement activity
  • incorporate plans for delivering priority outcomes to support Covid recovery, being employment and job readiness for women and youth.  See Social Procurement Assurance for more information.

These core components ensure that government buyers:

  • comply with mandatory planning requirements under the Social Procurement Framework
  • are taking a proactive and strategic approach to advancing social and sustainable procurement objectives in individual procurement activities valued at or above $20 million (exclusive of GST)
  • proactively manage any social procurement capability issues in relation to undertaking social procurement initiatives, as well as measuring and reporting on social procurement commitments.

Help developing a procurement plan

Agencies should contact the Social procurement assurance team for help when developing a social procurement plan.

Social Procurement Plan – Template

The Social Procurement Plan template provides example headings and specific instructions for each section of the Social Procurement Plan. The purposes of the template are to ensure that the core components listed above are developed and increase consistency across Government.

Social Procurement Plan Template
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Tools and support

Browse directories of social benefit suppliers to support your social procurement activities.

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

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