Placing social value at the heart of procurement

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is supporting public bodies to deliver more social value through their procurement activity.

CCS has published a statement outlining how it will do more to help public sector bodies to deliver additional social benefits in line with legislation including the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

The legislation requires buyers to consider what additional social, environmental and economic benefits can be delivered through the contract.

Sam Rowbury, Director of Policy at CCS said:

“We recognise that for many of our customers across the public sector, maximising value means both saving money and securing social value for citizens.

“We’re making sure that our customers can use our deals to deliver the specific social value benefits they are looking for.

“Social value benefits could be anything from creating more apprenticeships for young people, to reducing carbon emissions or promoting equality and diversity.”

What CCS are doing

CCS will work to increase social value by:

  • making sure all relevant new deals offer social value opportunities and give customers the flexibility to specify and evaluate social value at call-off
  • reviewing current deals to identify social value opportunities
  • providing tools and guidance to help build social value into procurements and measure the social value element of bids received
  • listening to customers, understanding their needs and learning from other organisations
  • working with suppliers so they are ready to respond to the requirements of public bodies

The most popular 20 frameworks that CCS offers to its customers have already been assessed and are ready to help customers secure social benefits now. This includes the Energy Performance Contracting and Technology Products 2 frameworks.

In future, frameworks will be designed to give customers the flexibility they need to decide their own, specific social value benefits, in keeping with their own social value objectives.

Social value in the communications arena

Social & Local, a micro-enterprise agency with a unique social value model, has been awarded a place on the Communication Services framework (RM3796).

Providing specialist services in areas such as hard to reach audiences, challenging social issues and rapidly changing landscapes, Social & Local is on Lot 1 of the framework for Speciality Consultancy Services.

Stephanie Drakes, CEO, said:

“We were founded as a Community Interest Company (CiC), and re-invest half our profit after tax to enable others to make real socially valuable campaigns, creative businesses and communications projects that promote sustainability, freedom, employment, health and well-being. Many of these projects would otherwise not see the light of day without our funding.”

Find out more

To find out more about CCS’s work to put social value at the heart of public procurement, click here.