July 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm #105108
I’m playing with the idea of throwing together a panel on this issue. I’d really like to hear your feedback. When you hear “sustainable” and “social responsibility” and relate it to government…what do you think of? Do you think green, economy, the public good? What does it cover and encompass? What have you been doing lately in your office or organization that might have brought up these terms?
July 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm #105120
Harlan thank you for your comments. I’m eager to hear what others have to say. Let me phrase the question this way…
I work in public procurement. Each year developed nations spend is equal to about 15% of the GDP. With that amount of spend, does the Government have the responsibility to consider environment, public health, disadvantaged businesses etc., in determining the “best value”, when purchasing goods and services. I guess what I’m asking is, is cheapest best? And, can the government use their spend responsibly to leverage certain policy initiatives?
July 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm #105118
Once one varies from spending the “cheapest” POLITICS gets involved. Example would/could be what one government entity thinks is environmentally correct may be exactly the opposite from another government entity, or the same entity at a different time.
Since in most cases government(s) are on a somewhat aggressive election cycle and a significant percentage of the voters are perceived to have the inclination to not deal with much else than costs. Usually the leaders will take the “easy way” out and focus on costs.
July 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm #105116
Henry, thank you for your thoughts. So do you believe there is a more accurate way to measure “best value”? What is a leading practice within your organization?
July 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm #105114
To me stainable efforts involve some effort to consider the long term dynamics of things so that attempts make use of resources in a way that allow the efforts to continue. And social responsibility helps make groups collaborate and their efforts endure.
It’s often applied to economic and ecological things, but government has aspect of each.
So if people want to make the make their personal economics sustainable they attempt to reduce their expenditures and make them in line with their resources/skills/wealth…..That’s just responsible thinking, which we could apply to society.
Proponents of sustainable living are socially responsible in that they aim to conduct their lives in manners that are consistent with others actions of sustainability. They often talk about a “natural balance” that is respectful of group relationships and have a concern about how theiir efforts impact others and their resources.
July 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm #105112
Thanks for your input. Can you think of a situation in government where you’ve seen this happen? Be specific.
July 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm #105110
Thanks Harlan. That provides an excellent starting point for me as I begin to explore this subject. I’ve noticed thus far that the OECD toolbox for public procurement separates their suggested best practices by phase in the procurement process and also by the principle/ value that the practice applies to.
The U.S. seems to be decades behind in regards to the sustainability and social responsibility issues.
You can visit the toolbox here: OECD Toolbox
Here is a link to OGC’s Social Issues in Public Procurement Page: Click Here
Thoughts after seeing these?
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