NDS BUYABILITY CONTRACT MANAGEMENT CEASES BUT CONTRACT VALUE OF $5.5M PER ANNUM REMAIN IN THE DISABILITY SECTOR!
Since 2011, NDS’s BuyAbility procurement service has assisted in gaining significant opportunities for the disability enterprise sector. As of December 2020, the BuyAbility procurement service facilitated over $40 million in contracts that supported the employment of 1,700 people with a disability.
However, as advised to the sector in August 2020, the National Disability Services (NDS) made the decision to cease the contract management functions of the BuyAbility Procurement service.
NDS then commenced work with buyers and disability enterprise suppliers to transition the existing 76 contracts held by NDS with a range of government and corporate buyers to be directly between the Disability Enterprise Suppliers and the buyers. While BuyAbility’s contract management has ceased, disability enterprise suppliers now have a direct contract relationship with these buyers.
The overarching principle adopted for this transition was that no Disability Enterprise should be disadvantaged by the transition and no supported employee will lose their job. Inherent is this transition is the ability for disability enterprises to continue pre-existing contracts and continue building on these strong foundations developed over recent years.
As of February 2021, we are pleased to advise that the NDS BuyAbility Contract Management Service has now successfully transitioned the majority of these contracts to be between the Disability Enterprise suppliers and the buyers directly. This has meant that contracts of an approximate value $5.5 million have remained in the Disability Enterprise sector.
As stated by Tim Potter, Executive Manager, WISE Employment Ltd, “The relationship between Clean Force and the Buyability team has held strong and has given us positive relationships with external customers. The contracts that have been secured through the program have given Clean Force a good foundation to continue its presence and growth throughout Sydney and the Western suburbs.”
Clean Force is a social enterprise with approximately 50% of employees diagnosed with a disability or disadvantaged. NSW Operations Manager, Tony Daoud, highlighted that at Clean Force, “The greatest impact is the opportunity of employing disadvantaged job seekers on the contracts. Buyability has given approximately 60 people the ability of enjoying the rewards of meaningful employment.”
Similarly, James Herbertson, General Manager, Flourish Australia, “The supplier agreements Buyability Procurement supported to secure provides on average 3,328 employment hours/week of a total pool of 238 supported employees, in a range of businesses, including cleaning, grounds maintenance, couriers services, document management (digitisation), warehousing, commercial packaging & light assembly”.
National Disability Services will still continue to support buyers to find disability enterprises.
You can find Disability Enterprises on our directory where you can search for Disability Enterprise by the goods/services and/or geographical location.
2011 – National Disability Services (NDS) launches the Disability Enterprise Procurement Program (DEPP) with the support of the NSW Government aimed at addressing the high rates of unemployment and under-employment of people with disability. The DEPP established a brokerage and contract management model.
2016 – The BuyAbility network was launched by NDS to highlight the social and economic benefits of supported employment. Australian Disability Enterprises became known as Disability Enterprises and DEPP became known as BuyAbility Procurement.