Clare County Council Adopts Charter to Promote Social Benefits in Procurement

Clare County Council adopts a new charter to promote social benefits in public procurement procedures, allowing tender marks for measures supporting SMEs, training, and employment opportunities. The charter aims to leverage public spending to deliver social benefits to the local community.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Clare County Council Adopts Charter to Promote Social Benefits in Procurement

Clare County Council Adopts Charter to Promote Social Benefits in Procurement

Clare County Council has adopted a new Employment, Supply Chain and Social Considerations Charter to promote social benefits in public procurement procedures. The charter, proposed by Cllr Ian Lynch, allows for the allocation of a percentage of tender marks to measures that contractors propose in respect of social considerations, such as support for SMEs, training, education, and employment opportunities.

Why this matters: This initiative has the potential to create a ripple effect in public procurement practices, encouraging other councils and governments to prioritize social benefits alongside cost and quality. By leveraging public spending to support local communities, this charter can contribute to more equitable and sustainable economic development.

The charter aligns with the Department of Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform policy on 'Promoting the use of Environmental and Social Considerations in Public Procurement'. It also reflects and complements the themes in the new Clare Local Economic and Community Plan.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, explained the rationale behind the charter: "We often see how large multinational companies give something back to the local community when they are awarded contracts. The idea here is to get staff thinking about leveraging the Council's spend to deliver social benefits for the community and to get the companies competing for the contracts to think about how they can partner with a social enterprise on an initiative, or guarantee that their supply chains will be from SMEs or new businesses, for example."

Peter Williams, Procurement Officer for Clare County Council, elaborated on how the initiative will work in practice: "This initiative allows staff who are drawing up tenders to include an award criterion for 'Social Considerations' if they wish; if they do so, the companies tendering for large contracts may now have to think not just about price and quality features in their tender, but also about what social benefit can they bring to the table if they win the contract. In this way we can leverage the spend on large contracts to have added social benefits."

Cllr Ian Lynch, who originally proposed the charter, expressed his satisfaction with its adoption: "I'm delighted that my fellow Councillors endorsed the original motion for this charter and that it has been adopted by the Management Team of Clare County Council. The charter has the ability to add a new dimension to Council contracts where it is deemed suitable to include Social Considerations as an award criterion for a tender."

The adoption of the Employment, Supply Chain and Social Considerations Charter by Clare County Council marks a significant step in leveraging public procurement to deliver social benefits to the local community. By allowing a percentage of tender marks to be allocated to social considerations, the charter encourages contractors to propose measures that support SMEs, training, education, and employment opportunities. As the initiative is implemented, it has the potential to make a positive impact on the social and economic landscape of Clare County.

Key Takeaways

  • Clare County Council adopts charter to promote social benefits in public procurement.
  • Charter allows allocation of tender marks for social considerations, such as SME support.
  • Initiative aims to leverage public spending for local community benefits.
  • Charter aligns with national policy on environmental and social considerations.
  • Implementation has potential to make a positive impact on Clare County's social and economic landscape.