In 2018 the Victorian Government determined that it had an opportunity to use its buying power to enter into procurement contracts that could make a real difference to all Victorians.
As a result, the Social Procurement Framework (SPF) was released, encouraging organisations to use their buying power to generate social and/or sustainable value above and beyond the value of the goods, services or construction being procured.
Social procurement objectives
1.Opportunities for Victorian Aboriginal people
2.Opportunities for Victorians with disability
3.Women’s equality and safety
4.Opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians
5.Supporting safe and fair workplaces
6.Sustainable Victorian social enterprise and Aboriginal business sectors
7.Sustainable Victorian regions
Sustainable procurement objectives
8.Environmentally sustainable outputs
9.Environmentally sustainable business practices
10.Implementation of the Climate Change Policy Objectives
Building Equality Policy
In December 2021, the Government announced its Building Equality Policy to improve gender equality in the building, infrastructure, and civil engineering sectors. The policy is being implemented through the Social Procurement Framework aligning with the Women’s equality and safety objective.
The policy applies to all publicly funded construction projects that meet the following requirements:
- Valued at $20 million or more (excluding GST).
- Request for Tenders released after 1 January 2022.
The Building Equality Policy is subject to a transitional implementation period until 1 January 2024. From 1 January 2024 penalties may apply for non-compliance as determined by the Buyer.
Responding to tenders
The policy requires suppliers to undertake the following:
- Action 1: Meet project specific gender equality targets.
- Action 2: Engage women as apprentices and trainees.
- Action 3: Require gender equality action plans.
Tenderers are required to address how they will meet or exceed the targets in Action 1 and Action 2 and submit the following with their tender for Action 3:
- an Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan.
- an Organisation Wide Workplace Gender Audit.
- a Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan.
When responding to tenders that have Building Equality Policy targets, Tenderers must:
- Provide their responses in the Response Schedules.
- Provide commitments in the Social Procurement Commitment Proposal.
- Trade covered labour positions: at least 3 % of each trade position must be performed by women.
- Non-trade Construction Award covered labour: at least 7 % of each non-trade Construction Award covered labour position must be performed by women.
- Management/supervisory and specialist labour (staff): at least 35 % of each management/supervisory and specialist labour (staff) position must be performed by women.
- Contractors must engage women as apprentices and trainees for at least 4% of the contract works’ total estimated labour hours.
An occupation list for each category is located on the Buying for Victoria website.
Reporting will be captured in the Victorian Management Centre.
Phase 2 of the reporting solution has now been released, with the development of further phases underway.
ICN Victoria Social
The ICN Social Procurement Program supports SPF to deliver Victorian employment and economic outcomes. The program supports Agencies and industry working on projects and procurement with the requirement for local, social and sustainable outcomes by increasing awareness and education, maximising Victorian supply chain engagement and Victorian jobs as well as providing local, social and sustainable data insights through our flagship system, VMC.
Social Procurement in Action
Rebecca Lee is the Principal Social Procurement Adviser at ICN Victoria. Her work with ICN Victoria encompasses three years in the Local Jobs First Policy team, and she now brings this experience in policy implementation to the Social Procurement Framework. Rebecca has experience in driving effective policy implementation and compliance from her previous role as Policy Compliance Team Leader. She has aspirations for social and sustainable procurement practices and looks forward to applying her background in Women and Gender studies to the Building Equality Policy program for ICN Victoria.
Janelle commenced at ICN Victoria in 2022 and is keen to provide guidance on the Building Equality Policy to SMEs and learning more about the Social Procurement Framework. Janelle comes to us from Northern Health where she was the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser and COVID workforce lead. Janelle has worked with the Victorian Government in their Department of Health and Human Services as a Freedom of Information Advisor and a Policy Officer, including working in the Medicinal Cannabis Taskforce. She holds a bachelor’s degree, focused in law from Monash University and has a strong relationship building and public policy background.
Social Procurement Framework and Local Jobs First Reporting
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and the Department of Treasury and Finance worked with the ICN to develop a joint reporting platform that will be used for both the SPF and LJF policies.
Social Procurement Framework and Local Jobs First reporting is an extended feature on VMC to report and monitor contract commitments and achievements of SPF and LJF contracts.
VMC Reporting will streamline the process and reduce administrative burden for suppliers. It will make it easier to capture social procurement commitments and outcomes, which will support Agency and Victoria government efforts to report local, social and sustainable outcomes from both policies.
From 1 July 2021, all contracts containing SPF commitments are required to be recorded on the VMC.
Social Procurement Assessment Tool
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