Brisbane City Council: Spending for Community Benefit

Brisbane City Council (BCC) has made a strong commitment to social procurement over the past decade, delivering local services including cleaning, catering, animal welfare services and more from a growing list of social enterprises.

In the past financial year, BCC spent more than $4 million with social enterprises and is looking to maintain this level of expenditure in the next financial year, generating even more social impact in the local community.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said BCC’s emphasis on social procurement had afforded business opportunities which may not have been otherwise available.

“This commitment from Council has had a significant impact resulting in both a positive outcome for the business and the community, Cr Quirk said.

 “One example is Diverciti Cleaning who were awarded a BCC tender. As a result, a young Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) couple were assisted to set up their own cleaning business as a sub-contractor and taught the basic principles of running a small business.

“They have now grown the business, recruited staff at Award wages and have been able to buy their own home.”

Cr Quirk said Council’s approach to social procurement included an adjustment in the traditional perception of ‘value’ as solely based on delivering the best price.

 “Council uses a “Value for Money (VFM)” methodology, (i.e. price divided by a non-price score) in its tender evaluation framework,” he said.

“This means that 50 percent of the tender assessment is attributable to non-price measures. If a social enterprise can demonstrate capability and capacity, Council will often look beyond price.”  

Whilst barriers remain for some organisations, the growing interest in buying from social enterprise shows positive signs of more tender processes evolving to make it easier for social enterprise to be included in commercial and government supply chains.

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