Brighten all corners

By Jonathan Werran | 15 April 2020
  • Jonathan Werran

The Social Value Act is perhaps the supreme example of how a mere backbencher’s Bill can achieve an outsize impact in society. The reasons why the Act has been taken to heart in its first eight years is that suppliers want to see it work and local authorities are determined to realise the benefits for the people and places they serve.

In the early days there was a need to understand the rules of the SVA game by playing it. Suppliers would typically see the procurement exercise being conducted in time-honoured tradition, all by the board in Official Journal of the European Union-compliant fashion. And then, citing social value, the procurement side of the table would ask: ‘And what about all the free stuff?’ Cue a desperate and sometimes despairing quest to throw available resources or in-house surplus of staff, material that might help tip the bid favourably in the supplier’s direction.

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