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Social Impact Clarified

Posted 2/13/2021

The application of government procurements can positively impact social and community objectives. Social value criteria are becoming part of the evaluation of proposals for goods and services. There remains, however, 

some confusion of procurement related social impact with inclusion of supplier donations to community groups as an evaluated criterion.

Social procurement is a hand up, NOT a handout.

Evaluated criteria should not include a blind auction for donations no matter how worthwhile the recipient or cause may be. Those donations will inevitably be paid by the taxpayer in a non-transparent manner. It is important to de-couple a procurement from supplier’s charitable or similar donations.

Social impact procurement is about developing people, community, and the regional economy. To serve those objectives, evaluated social impact criteria could include some or all:

  • ·        Supplier employment practices including paying living wages, hiring persons with barriers to employment; gender and ethnic diversity
  • ·        Employee training programs
  • ·        Use of local sourced endemic materials, social enterprises, and non-profits in their supply chain
  • ·        Demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability
  • ·        Other criteria consistent with community goals and objectives

Social impact should be measurable, reported, and monitored. The party responsible for these tasks should be the party most able to obtain the raw data.

Implementation of positive social impacts through public sector procurements is a collaborative process. We can be of assistance.