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Guide to Buying and Managing Social Services released

23 March 2017

The Social Services Procurement Capability team is pleased to release the Guide to Buying and Managing Social Services.

If you commission, procure or manage social services on behalf of a government agency this guide is for you. You will find tools, tips and processes that are good practice when engaging with social services providers and that align with the Government Rules of Sourcing.

For social service providers the guide is a useful source of information on what to expect and good practice.

New Zealand Government Procurement and social sector agencies worked together to develop the Guide. We also sought information through workshops with providers on what the Guide should cover. This clear and simple guide supports good decision-making and enhances engagement between agencies and providers.

The Social Services Procurement Capability team would like to thank those from government agencies and provider groups who have contributed to the work, over many months, to finalise the Guide. Team Manager, Justine Falconer said “This is a great example of sharing our experience and knowledge. The Guide will lead to better relationships between government and providers, and better outcomes for service users.”

The Guide reflects the need to:

  • Think about procurement in a commissioning framework
  • Streamline engagement with providers
  • Manage and adapt services to enhance outcomes
  • Ensure that government can assess whether services are delivering outcomes.

With the rapidly changing environment for social services the Guide is open for review over the next 12 months. We invite government agencies and service providers to road test it and send comments to


Last updated 23 March 2017