Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework

By on April 23, 2021

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA.

This business article is the first in a series. Below is an extract from an email sent by the Secretariat to the Treasurer, The Hon Tim Pallas MP, on 4 December 2020 concerning the Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework (SPF).

“I received the email below (deidentified) from a medium quarry/business. Whilst it is understood there is a need for social procurement by Government, surely it is not the intent to drive small to medium businesses out of the market due to not being able to afford to provide social procurement reports for 200 tonnes of crushed rock (~$3200) for the Department of Transport (VicRoads)?

“This is the Victorian social procurement framework, the issue is that each government department seems to have a different way of calculating social procurement and how they wish to see it reported.ie VicRoads, Vline, building and construction.

From my understanding this was to be focused on larger projects, we are now finding ourselves having to report our social procurement for 200t of crushed rock for VicRoads projects.


Some Issues

  • Cost to business: keep measures of social procurement (how many $ per tonne of social procurement);
  • Human Resources: questioning staff on their relationships, nationality and postcodes (awkward and changes)
  • Business structures (already people allegedly profiteering from business structures set up for social procurement)”

This is an extract of the response from The Hon. Danny Pearson MP Assistant Treasurer received 12 February 2021.

“APPLICATION OF THE SOCIAL PROCUREMENT FRAMEWORK

I refer to your email to Mr Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer, on
4 December 2020, regarding the application of Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework (SPF). This correspondence has been referred to me as the Minister responsible for procurement.

The SPF aims to increase the value of procured goods, services and construction by delivering social and sustainable outcomes that benefit all Victorians. It applies to all procurement activities undertaken by Victorian Government departments and agencies.

The Victorian Government considers that all suppliers can deliver direct or indirect social and sustainable outcomes when doing business with Government. Several outcomes in the SPF promote supplier diversity, creating more inclusive opportunities for small to medium enterprises to participate in government procurement. A specific focus is purchasing from social benefit suppliers, which include Victorian Aboriginal businesses and social enterprises. These organisations must be verified by an external party (such as Kinaway and Social Traders) to be recognised as social benefit suppliers under the SPF. The SPF also promotes environmental sustainability and fair and inclusive employment. The specific outcomes being prioritised under the SPF will vary according to the nature of the procurement activity and available opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes.

It is important that Government measures and reports on its achievements under the SPF. Reporting requirements relate to performance against contractual commitments to deliver social and sustainable outcomes. The nature and frequency of reporting will vary, depending on the specific commitments made by suppliers and the broader circumstances of the procurement activity. The Victorian Government is currently implementing a reporting solution to streamline reporting in relation to the SPF and the Local Jobs First Policy, which will enable a more consistent approach to supplier reporting.

Suppliers can access information and send enquiries about the application of the SPF on the Buying for Victoria website https://www.buyingfor.vic.gov.au/social-procurement-framework-suppliers

CMPA will work with the Victorian Government to provide practical advice and training to CMPA Members on the Social Policy Framework and the accompanying Local Jobs First policy https://localjobsfirst.vic.gov.au/ .

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