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Basics on UK social value procurement policy

Social value procurement in the UK refers to the practice of considering not only the cost but also the wider social, economic, and environmental benefits when awarding contracts. The policy aims to maximize the positive impact of public spending on communities and society as a whole. Here are key aspects that were in place up to my last update:

  1. Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012: The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 was a significant legislative step. It requires public authorities in England and Wales to consider how the services they procure might improve the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the area. This act places an obligation on public sector organizations to incorporate social value considerations into their procurement processes.

  2. The Social Value Model: The UK government developed a Social Value Model to guide public sector organizations in implementing the Social Value Act. This model helps organizations define, measure, and maximize social value in their procurement activities. It includes key themes such as supporting local communities, creating job opportunities, promoting environmental sustainability, and fostering innovation.

  3. Local Authorities and Social Value: Local authorities play a crucial role in implementing social value in procurement. Many have adopted their own social value policies and frameworks to align with the broader national initiatives. This includes considering factors like community engagement, local job creation, and environmental sustainability when awarding contracts.

  4. Procurement Processes and Evaluation: Procurement processes have evolved to incorporate social value considerations in the evaluation of bids. This may involve assigning weight to social value elements alongside traditional criteria like cost and quality. Contractors are often required to demonstrate how they will contribute to social value throughout the contract lifecycle.

  5. Government Initiatives and Guidance: The UK government has provided guidance and initiatives to support the implementation of social value in procurement. This includes tools, case studies, and resources to help public sector organizations integrate social value into their decision-making processes effectively.

  6. Reporting and Transparency: There is an increasing emphasis on transparency and reporting in social value procurement. Public sector organizations are encouraged to publish information on the social, economic, and environmental outcomes achieved through their procurement activities. This promotes accountability and allows stakeholders to assess the impact of public spending.


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