Re: gov't procurement preference for SEs?
- Eric Lombardi of Boulder, CO, USA, asked the following question:
"My local government staff is asking me for examples of SE's getting some kind of "procurement preference" when bidding for a govt contract. Does anyone have examples for me?"
[Editor's note: an earlier discussion addressed a related topic about government policies that encourage businesses to purchase from social enterprises:
(1) From David/West Dubinsky
There are many states in the US that have “state use” laws that allow nonprofits that meet certain criteria to receive preferential procurement for state and local contracts (Texas and Florida would be two examples). There is an organization known as SUPRA (State Use Programs Association,http://www.supra.cc ) that can provide you with some good information. Also, at a national level, please check out the AbilityOne® Program (http://www.abilityone.gov ).
(2) From David LePage
There are many examples of policy and some actual practice, regarding social purchasing policy on the municipal level internationally. “Preference” can be a very difficult concept for purchasers and an excuse not to imbed social values into every purchase and contract. The more positive trend is toward a policy and measurable practice of Sustainable Purchasing and Community Benefit Agreements which emphasizes and scores the inclusion of the social value created by every contract and purchase done by the government entity.
Rather than a model of “one-off” support for social enterprise, it is a policy based model that values and scores every bid on four components: price, product/service, environment AND Social Impact. This could be in a direct contract delivery model or through sub-contract / supply chain engagement of social enterprises. The social impact can then be determined by both the conditions set by the purchaser and as defined by the supplier, dependent upon the goals and objectives of the specific contract. Social impact can be very inclusive of what each community may need and what each contract may offer as opportunities around issues like: local economic development, targeted employment, arts/culture, local business growth, social inclusion, etc.
Also see: http://www.enterprisingnonprofits.ca/e-library-resources/social-enterprise-purchasing-toolkit
Montreal: http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/docs/page/inv_mtl_en/media/documents/partenariat%20en%20conomie%20sociale-ang.pdf (p 30)
(3) From Alex Stobart
In the UK, we are subject to EU Procurement Law
However, an Act of Parliament was passed recently
The Social Value Act, with details here
(4) From Ruth Arnold
Look into NISH (National Industries for Severly Handicapped) http://www.nish.org for the federal government's set-aside program.
(5) From Kevin Jones
Redf is the answer -- http://www.redf.org