Talk to the sector, commissioners told

A new government guide to procurement recommends discussions with the voluntary and community sector at an early stage of the process in order to meet social objectives effectively.

Buy and Make a Difference, published by the Office of Government Commerce, says objectives such as creating a fairer society and improving people's lives should be considered during the process of public procurement.

The document says engaging with the voluntary and community sector when regenerating a housing estate, for example, can help achieve "considerable community buy-in" to the project.

By entering into dialogue with the voluntary and community sector at an early stage, contracting authorities can establish "a good understanding of the capacity and potential of the market", the guide says.

Contracting authorities are then able to "promote the requirement to a range of suppliers, including the voluntary and community sector".

Angela Eagle, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: "Social issues should be a first thought, not an afterthought – improving the lives and work prospects of citizens will create equality of opportunity for all."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in