RDA committees collaborate to launch procurement guide
Published: 31st October 2012
RDA Sydney, RDA Illawarra and RDA Central Coast (New South Wales) have recently collaborated to create a tripartite regional initiative known as the Social Procurement Action Group (SPAG).
The group worked together with Australian, state and local Government agencies to produce Social Procurement in NSW: a guide to achieving social value through Public Sector Procurement.
The guide is focused on social procurement in the public sector, and it is designed for use particularly in the NSW state and local government context. Many of the issues described and the case studies highlighted are also relevant to corporate and not-for-profit organisations wishing to incorporate social outcomes in their procurement practices.
The guide was adopted from ‘Social Procurement-a Guide for Victorian Local Government’ into a NSW context and was the culmination of a 12 month partnership of the three RDA committees; the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; Parramatta, Marrickville, Canterbury, Penrith, Blacktown, City of Sydney, Wyong, Wollongong and Auburn Councils; Social Enterprises Sydney; Landcom; and NSW Land and Housing.
RDA Sydney Chair Alan Pendleton said this type of collaboration is not a common occurrence.
“The success of this project in adapting the Victorian guide to a NSW perspective is a testament to the dedication, cooperation and working relationship of the parties involved,” Mr Pendleton said.
Launched to an audience of over 90 organisations, community groups and government representatives, the guide aims to highlight the vital work being done across NSW. It also provides clear and structured guidance to support the further application of social procurement strategies to achieve social and economic outcomes.
RDA Illawarra Executive Officer Natalie Burroughs said, “Governments in NSW spend up to $27 billion on procurement annually. These large procurement budgets present an exceptional opportunity for local and state governments to use their buying power to create social benefits within the community and meet economic objectives.
“Social procurement enables local and state governments to meet their triple bottom line, everyone wins. Disadvantaged communities and small businesses gain access to employment and business opportunities that otherwise would not be so readily available, and local and state governments address their economic and social priorities,” Ms Burroughs said.
Greg Combes a project manager at RDA Central Coast said, “This guide aims to encourage and support all levels of government to integrate social procurement into their mainstream procurement practices.
“There is important work currently being done across NSW, work that is creating real and sustainable social outcomes for our local communities. But more is required if social value is to become part of established procurement practices.”
The official launch held in Parramatta on Tuesday 16 October was one of three launches across NSW. The Illawarra launch was held on Friday 19 October and the Central Coast launch is set to be held on Tuesday 13 November.
To download a copy of the Social Procurement Action Group guide, visit the Social Enterprises Australia website.
For more information and to register for the Central Coast launch on 13 November, visit the RDA Central Coast website.