Creating a Community Benefit policy to maximise social and economic impact of public sector spend – Glasgow City Council

Posted on 29th April, 2014

Glasgow City Council introduced its Community Benefits (CB) policy in 2008 to maximise the social and economic impact of public sector spend for the city hosting the Commonwealth Games.

The policy focuses on;

  • employment and training opportunities for the hardest to reach groups
  • the advertising of business opportunities for Glasgow Small and  Medium –sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Social Enterprises (SEs) on a tailored Business Portal
  • Providing SMEs / SEs with capacity building support to improve their business sustainability

The project has delivered significant results to date through the partnership of various public sector agencies and has now widened its scope to include other GCC procurement contracts as well as various public and private sector projects.

The policy was developed following the Pilot Project work undertaken by the Scottish Government in their ‘COMMUNITY BENEFITS IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT’, A Report Demonstrating the Methodology for Including Targeted Recruitment and Training Clauses in Public Sector Contracts. This pilot programme provided the legal context to implement the policy.

While the policy was developed to include a contractual obligation to ensure compliance, its successful delivery can only be achieved through developing a strong partnership with the private sector.

GCC created a comprehensive support programme for the private sector contractors. This was delivered through existing resources either within the Council or partner agencies in order to maximise the potential outcomes;

–       Recruitment & Training; Jobs and Business Glasgow

–       Business Opportunities; Glasgow Business Portal

–       Capacity Building; Supplier Development Programme / Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEiS)

Each contract was managed through monthly meetings with contractors and ¼ reports to review the individual Key Performance Indicators KPIs

CB had been utilised at London 2012, but Glasgow has further developed the framework further to make it contractual. GCC is one of the leading authorities in Scotland in the delivery of CB

The programme has now been in place for five years and has continually improved across each project. Procurement documents have been reviewed and developed on a number of occasions to elicit, better and more robust responses. For example; rather than ask a generic question around business support, contractors now have to make an annual commitment to the number of hours of business support that they will deliver and what the expected outcomes will be.

At the end of each project a ‘Lesson Learned Review’ is undertaken involving all stakeholders to identify processes that worked well and any areas for improvement. This process has helped both the delivery partners and the private contractors to develop a more robust approach for the delivery of future projects.

To discuss the Community Benefits project, please contact John Flynn at: john.flynn@glasgow.gov.uk.