BUSINESS

Public sector procurement – social value

A look at how Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is working with local government to build social value into procurement.

2023 marks more than a decade since The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 came into force.

And what a decade it has been. What is most remarkable is the winds of change that have buffeted the sector haven't stopped many organisations from ensuring the vision set out in the act is realised, with local authorities at the forefront of working with supply chains to deliver benefits for local communities.

CCS supports the public sector to get the best deal on the procurement of thousands of goods and services. Ensuring suppliers on our agreements are meeting the needs of potential customers, including on social value, is a key part in developing new solutions.

How local government leads the social value agenda

The measurement of social value that can be generated from procurement has become increasingly standardised across local government, including the introduction of the National TOMs (Themes, Outcomes, Measures) framework, launched by the Local Government Association's National Social Value Taskforce.

TOMs created a new, common language for social value, encouraging greater consistency in reporting. We are now seeing some evidence of more localised and regional variations to the TOMS being adopted where local needs are more specific.

The five key themes that TOMs is built around are:

• promoting local skills and employment

• sustainable and responsible regional business growth

• building healthier, safer, and resilient communities

• decarbonising and protecting the planet

• promoting and enabling innovation

Potential suppliers to the public sector should factor these elements into their thinking when bidding for contracts.

What CCS and suppliers are doing

We are continually working with our framework suppliers to ensure our agreements better enable you to deliver your local social value outcomes.

CCS can ask suppliers to demonstrate how they work to ensure fair, inclusive and ethical employment practices. This could include evidence that they've advertised vacancies in a wide range of locations or that they've engaged with voluntary and community sector organisations about apprenticeships.

Learn more about social value

Visit our social value webpage for details of how to build policy considerations into your procurement.

crowncommercial.gov.uk/ social-value

This article is sponsored content for The MJ

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