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How do I add social benefit to procurements?

There are different ways to add social benefit:

1. Small purchases

Low value, low risk purchases via quotes or corporate credit cards are a great way to have an impact when buying goods or services like catering or printing. These smaller purchases will often suit buying directly from local social benefit providers. They play an important role in promoting social procurement practice within government agencies, help social benefit suppliers remain viable, prove their capacity as suppliers and ‘scale up’ as they gain more regular access to government jobs. It helps if you know who the social benefit suppliers are in your region and what they can provide.

2. Significant procurements

There are different ways to add social value to a procurement project. It is important to plan early and carefully:

  • Set-asides
    A set aside is a practice whereby a specific procurement initiative or portion of a procurement spend is ‘quarantined’ and offered, in the first instance, to a particular grouping or type of business, such as social enterprises. Set-asides must still involve a competitive process.
  • Social clauses
    You can include social benefit requirements as clauses in tender and contract documents. For example, a clause might require indigenous trainees to be engaged on a project.
  • Breaking down large procurements
    Sometimes it is possible to break down larger procurements into smaller components, this might be done by region or by function. Breaking down a contract may make it possible for social benefit suppliers and small businesses to bid for government work, increasing supplier diversity.

For more information about adding social value when buying for government, refer to the Social Procurement Guide (734KB).

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