NEWS SEARCH RESULTS ( 1 - 2 from 2 )

Northern Ireland’s Social Value Unit joins Procura+

28 August 2023

Northern Ireland’s Social Value Unit has become the newest addition to ICLEI’s Procura+ Network. The Social Value Unit assists Northern Irelands Government Departments, their agencies and arm’s length bodies to maximise the delivery of social value through public contracts.

Since June 2022, in Northern Ireland all public tenders at or above the thresholds set out in the Public Contracts Regulations must allocate a minimum of 10% of the total award criteria to social value. Departments should score for social value using an outcomes-based framework which has four broad themes:

  • increasing secure employment and skills
  • building ethical and resilient supply chains
  • delivering zero carbon
  • promoting well-being

The Social Value Unit is responsible for developing guidance and training for the implementation of this mandate. It is also working on developing guidance on sustainable procurement more broadly beyond award criteria.

As part of the Procura+ Network, the Social Value Unit aims to network with other peer organisations to share and learn from best practices, obtain more knowledge on how public procurement can play a role in reaching net-zero objectives, and develop meaningful relationships with other relevant stakeholders.

For more information on Northern Ireland’s Social Value Unit, see their Procura+ page.

Urban Agenda Partnership meets in Haarlem to discuss future of public procurement

21 August 2023

On 22 and 23 May Procura+ participant Haarlem hosted the Urban Agenda Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement meeting, as well as the study visit “Shaping the Future of Public Procurement”. During the two days, participants got the opportunity to be updated about the latest developments of the UA Partnership, learn more about the work of relevant European organisations, networks and projects connected to public procurement, and visit the Innovation Hub lab C district.

ICLEI Europe got the opportunity to present the thematic areas of its work, alongside the Procura+ Network. ICLEI also highlighted the Big Buyers Working Together project, which it coordinates on behalf of the European Commission, together with Eurocities and BME. The project invites public buyers across Europe to indicate their main challenges, interests and needs, with the aim to identify priorities and topics for the project's working groups that will focus on improving procurement strategies and supporting sustainable innovation across Europe. The survey is open until the end of August. Other organisations got the opportunity to present projects such as PROTECT, PROCEDIN, LIFE Future Proof Sport Pitches, and Amsterdam Smart City.

The Partnership also discussed the three key actions included in its Action Plan. They are:

  • Develop a reflection board supported by a sustainable platform where cities, regions,member states and the European Commission/institutions exchange ideas and experiences on strategic public procurement.
  • Achieve Green Deal goals by using public procurement and innovation as strategic tools.
  • Enable Sustainable Economic Recovery through public procurement.

In interactive sessions participants shared the main topics and challenges related to these actions, as well as their views on possible solutions and strategies, challenging each other to think out of the box. Based on this discussion, follow up steps were formulated for each of the Action Groups.

Finally, during the study visit to the C-District, participants had the chance to learn more about the innovative and sustainable solutions developed by local producers and entrepreneurs, innovative start-ups emphasizing the accessibility of innovation for SMEs, public authorities, and professionals. The 3D Makers Zone, TZO and More Than Layers are just a few examples of these solutions. To see more of them, and to get more details about the full two days, take a look at the special Urban Agenda Newsletter.