1. The DP has been working with three local authorities, various local health authorities and the National Offender Management Service to develop the thinking about what they are buying and the impact this has on their policy outcomes. Work has focused on corporate policies and the contribution that procurement practices have made. 2. Research is underway to identify effective processes for developing market intelligence and inform opportunities for social enterprise.
A longitudinal study is underway at local level with a number of social enterprises at various stages of development, to investigate the impact of engaging with the public sector. The study has focused on the difference this engagement makes to their business and the nature of their experiences on this journey. Under what circumstances is a financial relationship (including through procurement) of benefit to both parties?
Partners within the DP have been developing a range of services to support social enterprises, contracting know-how training and evaluating enterprising ideas, etc.
The work of the DP has produced examples of the added value of social enterprise procurement and specific ways in which this approach can impact on the economy of the region.
As a result of the services trialed by the DP partners, products to support and embed those services have been created which relate to information services about finding existing small contracts, providing brokerage services, contracting know-how training, evaluating enterprising ideas, etc.
The DP will produce a study of the attitudes to social issues in contracting in Member States.
The DP has links to National policy processes, for example, through the Social Enterprise Coalition. One of the Partners in the DP is a participant in the Local Authority Third Sector Pathfinder project. The DP compiled the response to the recent Joint Note on Social Issues in Contracting on behalf of the Coalition (see Products). The DP is also engaging in dialogue with and lobbying the Sustainable Procurement Task Force which includes key policy makers and influencers (see Products).
A DP partner is involved in the European Co-operative Initiative on public sector procurement.