New Social Procurement Program launched for ICN Vic

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In 2018 the Victorian State Government determined that it had an opportunity to use its buying power to enter into procurement contracts that could make a real difference to all Victorians. As a result, the Social Procurement Framework (SPF) was released, encouraging project proponents to acknowledge that value-for-money in purchasing contracts shouldn’t be decided by price alone.

ICN Victoria is delighted to announce it has received funding from the Victorian Government to implement a Social Procurement Program effective immediately.

“On behalf of ICN Victoria and the Board I am proud to announce this significant program addition to our organisation,” said Grant Anderson, Executive Director ICN Victoria.

“SPF has linkages with Local Jobs First (LJF) through its Victorian employment and economic outcomes focus which complements our existing products and services as we continue to be responsible for LJF, administering on behalf of the Victorian government.”

As Wade Noonan, Chair JobsBank wrote in the Social and Sustainable Procurement Victorian Prospect from 2019: The SPF clearly defines social and sustainable procurement as a key value-for-money component. The framework seeks to bolster job opportunities for under-represented groups and provide greater support for businesses that prioritise social impact alongside ‘the delivery of competitively priced, high-quality construction projects, goods and services.

“The ICN Victoria Social Procurement Program will consist of developing system capability to capture commitments and achievements for SPF reporting. Creating e-learning modules, guides and toolkits for social procurement activities that ICN supports e.g. social procurement reporting through the ICN Victorian Management Centre (VMC). Supporting SPF supplier capability capture and communications. Securing new SPF opportunities from industry and government engagement. And making SPF connections that enable Victorian social employment and economic activity,” said Grant.

The Program will be implemented by a team of three new employees reporting to ICN Victoria stalwart Lynn Johnson, Manager – Projects, Process and Systems.

“I am passionate about raising awareness and education of Victorian Government policies that will support employment for all Victorians. I’m excited to have three equally passionate individuals join the ICN team as we all work together to make social inclusion business as usual,” said Lynn.

Brian Finnigan starts with us today as the inaugural Senior Social Procurement Adviser. Mary Ann Xavier, Social Procurement and Benchmarking Adviser and Jhdara Jones, Social Procurement and Benchmarking Officer joined the team 13 August and have already made their mark with internal training and information sessions.

A consistent and strong presence within the social procurement community for several years, many will know Brian Finnigan from his days at Outlook Victoria. Brian built alliances across government and industry, including with ICN as their Director of Partnerships and Stakeholder Relations. Most recently, Brian has been working on strategy and delivery as an Employer Engagement Specialist with Jobsbank and DJPR – Working for Victoria where he has been liaising with councils, major employment partners and key stakeholders to generate employment opportunities for Victorian jobseekers who have been affected by the pandemic. Brian has also previously worked for Brotherhood of St Laurence as Employer Engagement.

Most recently, Mary Ann Xavier has worked for Health Purchasing Victoria (HPV) to build the social procurement capability of 83 metropolitan and regional health services by working closely with the Department of Treasury and Finance. She was responsible for raising awareness of strategic and operational requirements of Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework through regional and metropolitan workshops, designed and embedded a social procurement implementation toolkit within the procurement documentation suite of the Hume region which was then rolled out to the sector. Mary Ann has also worked for Officeworks and was responsible for supply chain mapping of more than 14,000 product lines and establishing a continuous improvement framework for ethical compliance. In this capacity, she supported over 1,200 suppliers to improve their ethical compliance.

Jhdara Jones comes to us from Metro Trains Melbourne, initially as a Procurement Officer managing the bill of materials for the Metro Tunnel Project and more recently, as their Social Inclusion and Social Procurement Administrator to develop, deliver and report on targets for the project. This included working on the development programs for trainees, cadets and apprentices, educating stakeholders and businesses on the targets as well as management of the supply chain for LJF and SPF reporting.

“As we embark on this new dawn for ICN Victoria we are delighted to introduce an ICN Social Procurement Team of four motivated and enthusiastic advocates for social inclusion to support creating meaningful employment for all,” said Grant.

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