UK embeds social value measures into policy

Posted on the 30th September 2020

The ASVB was based on the UK Social Value Bank, which was developed three years before us, in 2014.The policy context that largely drove the development of the UKSVB, namely the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, did not exist in Australia at the time.

The Social Value Act (SVA) required public sector commissioners in England to consider how they could improve the economic, environment and social wellbeing of their local area through their procurement activities. In other words, they needed to “consider” the social value that could be created at the start of their procurement process.

In our post-COVID economies, government’s around the world are trying to harness the additional social value created through social procurement to support their recovery, and the UK is no different.

In an attempt to level out the economic inequalities highlighted by the pandemic and diversify their supply chain, they have added a new policy note which now requires central government to go further than the SVA and explicitly evaluate social value, rather than just “consider it”.

To support this change they have launched a “social value in procurement model” which will be used by government departments to assess a supplier’s social impact.

They anticipate the new approach will mean more opportunities for SMEs and social enterprises to win Government contracts by demonstrating the full extent of the social value they would generate.

Whilst value for money will still be paramount, a bidder’s social value score will be incorporated into the assessment of contracts.

[This information has been taken taken from a press release from Julia Lopez MP from Cabinet Office published on 24 September 2020. Full details of the story can be found here.]

So whilst in Australia the requirement to demonstrate social value is not yet embedded in policy, the ASVB can be utilised to demonstrate the additional social value your organisation will deliver, when competing for government contracts.

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