Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir today announced progress on key procurement priorities including the Social Value Bill, Percent for Art initiative and the establishment of a Construction industry Task Group.
Pre-consultation on the Social Value Bill, which will place a statutory duty on public authorities to maximise social, economic, and environmental wellbeing through public procurement, will take place in coming weeks with key stakeholders.
Speaking after chairing the Procurement Board, the Minister said: “Every year the public sector spends nearly £3billion on goods, services, and works. I want to introduce exemplary Social Value legislation to ensure this spending delivers additional social and economic benefits within our communities.”
The Percent for Art initiative recommends earmarking a sum from the total cost of a Government construction project for art and sculpture.
The Minister continued: “The arts can play a vital role in transforming public spaces and buildings. The Percent for Art scheme will deliver substantial investment in the creative economy and community arts, and produce inspirational works of art that enrich our cultural heritage."
The Minister also outlined how two Central Procurement Directorate-led Task Groups will be set up to address issues facing the construction industry. These groups will work collaboratively with industry bodies to examine the simplification and streamlining of procurement processes for professional services and construction contracts.
Notes to editors:
- The Percent for Art initiative - Projects with net construction works values above £1million may include an art budget of up to 1% subject to a limit of, for example £50,000.
- The Procurement Board is responsible to the Executive and accountable to the Northern Ireland Assembly for the development, dissemination and co-ordination of public procurement policy and practice.
- The Board is chaired by the Finance Minister. Membership of the Board comprises the Permanent Secretaries of the nine Departments and the Chief Executive of CPD.
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