Purchasing & Spaces

One of the key contributions that government can make to the development and sustainability of a vibrant social enterprise sector is to leverage its procurement spending and its facilities portfolio.

In May 2011 City of Parramatta Council resolved to adopt a new procurement policy, which incorporates social, environmental and local economic development principles. The policy can be accessed here. As this policy becomes fully embedded into practice it will assist with aligning PCC’s purchasing activities with its wider sustainability objectives.

In December 2010 the Centre for Social Impact and PCC hosted the Sydney launch of the ‘Social Procurement in Australia’ and the accompanying Case Study Compendium. These excellent reference materials were produced through a year long collaboration lead by the Centre for Social Impact, delivered by Foresters Community Finance and partnering with City of Parramatta Council, Brisbane City Council, the Victorian Department of Planning & Community Development and Social Traders.

In October 2010 the Victorian Department for Planning & Community Development launched ‘Social Procurement: A Guide for Victorian Local Government’. This is a significant development and hopefully other States will adapt it to their contexts.

These pieces of work build on an earlier publication by Dr Ingrid Burkett (the project’s principal researcher) and others: Social Enterprise & Social Tendering - A Guide for Government Departments, Large Social Welfare Organisations & Corporations”. They also draws on a Literature Review Social Procurement & Its Implications for Social Enterprise published by QUT’s Centre for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Studies.

PCC also organised for a senior representative of the Development Trusts Association to visit Sydney and Melbourne in October 2009 to raise awareness and understanding of community asset transfer processes and benefits. Community asset transfer is well-established and recognised in the UK, and is an important approach for both incubating and sustaining social enterprises. More information on models and case studies can be accessed via the UK’s Asset Transfer Unit’s.

Last updated on 31 Oct 2011