Community Benefit Classes
Community Benefit Clauses (CBCs) are contractual clauses that can be used to build a variety of economic, social or environmental conditions into the delivery of public contracts. By specifying contractual requirements that seek to deliver wider social benefits, CBCs allow organisations to contribute to the achievement of outcomes that will benefit their communities. They can be viewed as contributing to the Best Value and sustainable procurement agendas.
Community benefits that can potentially be included as contractual clauses include:
- Creating opportunities for enterprising third sector organisations to deliver public services
- Employment and training opportunities for the long term unemployed and disadvantaged individuals
- Creating opportunities for SMEs to deliver public services
- Provision of facilities for all
- Contributions to achievement of education and training targets
- Support for community initiatives
- Environmental targets
The government is now legally obliged to legislate on the issue of social clauses no later than January 2016 due to EU legislation. Under the EU public procurement directives adopted in January 2014, “The new rules seek to ensure greater inclusion of common societal goals in the procurement process. These goals include environmental protection, social responsibility, innovation, combatting climate change, employment, public health and other social and environmental considerations.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and reform has established a social clauses project group within the new Office of Government Procurement, OGP. The nominees that make up the composition of the project group are from a number of Departments and organisations. They include a representative each from the local government sector, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Social Protection in connect with the role of SOLAS, the Health Service Executive, the National roads Authority, the National Development Finance Agency, Pobal, the Office of Public Works and the Office of the Chief State Solicitor, who is providing legal assistance.
Office of Government Procurement http://ogp.gov.ie
Green Public Procurement: http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/SustainableDevelopment/GreenPublicProcurement/
June 2014: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/clauses-in-public-contracts-to-deliver-social-benefits-271512.html
Dail Debate: https://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2014-10-17a.5&s=speaker%3A42