Local authority transferred contract without retender
Inconsistencies prompt London borough to examine voluntary sector commissioning
Tories announce third sector contract plans
Wates appoints former Rok CPO
3 March 2011 | Angeline Albert
Wates aims to
use a social enterprise on all of its future construction projects by building them
into its supply chain, as well as offering contracts directly.
Speaking at an event in London yesterday, Wates CEO Paul
Drechsler said procurement departments should tap into the long-term value
social enterprise businesses can bring. “Companies need to show greater
leadership by working with their clients and suppliers to encourage them to
incorporate social enterprises within their own supply networks,” he said.
For the past year it has been trying to incorporate social enterprises
into its supply chain to “create a
lasting legacy in the communities it works in”, taking the lead from the prime
minister’s ‘Big Society'.
One of these, a charity called Green-Works,
hires long-term unemployed and homeless people to remove unwanted office
furniture from its sites and reuse it elsewhere – either by Wates or another
organisation – effectively reducing landfill.
Drechsler suggested buyers follow the group’s example by
splitting work into smaller contracts to make it easier for social enterprises
to bid. He said they should also use social enterprises to fill “potential gaps
in the supply chain” and encourage them to become members of a consortia.
By showing flexibility in its procurement, Drechsler
said, Wates had been able to offer work to social enterprises as both direct
suppliers and as sub-contractors to other vendors. He said strategic suppliers
are happy to allow a small portion of a project to be undertaken by a social
enterprise if it helps them win business. In 2010, Wates used 38 of these
organisations in 60 different projects - about 10 per cent of its work.
Despite the recession, social enterprises saw strong growth
in 2010 with a 56 per cent rise in turnover from the previous year compared to
28 per cent for SMEs.