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Social value in government procurement

The Cabinet Office has published new measures with the launch of the Social Value framework in PPN 06/20. The measures focus on how government should take into account social value when awarding central government contracts, in turn promoting new jobs and skills, encouraging economic growth and prosperity, tackling climate change and levelling up the UK.

The social value in procurement model will be used by government departments to assess a supplier’s social impact, scoring them on the wider positive benefits that they can bring by delivering the contract. 

The Social Value Act (2012) already places a requirement on central government departments to consider how the economic, environmental and social well-being of the relevant area may be improved by what is being procured and how they might act with a view to securing that improvement. However, the social value in procurement model will require them to go even further when considering social value in awarding contracts.

The social value model which departments will assess contracts on includes:

  • Supporting COVID-19 recovery, including helping local communities manage and recover from the impact of COVID
  • Tackling economic inequality, including creating new businesses, jobs and skills, as well as increasing supply chain resilience
  • Fighting climate change and reducing waste
  • Driving equal opportunity, including reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality
  • And improving health, wellbeing, and community integration

Application of the model will be mandatory in central government, but commercial teams can decide which of the outcomes are most appropriate for their particular procurement. A minimum weighting of 10% of the total score for social value wild be applied in procurements, but a higher weighting may be applied if justified.

The new approach will mean more opportunities for SMEs and social enterprises to win government contracts by giving them the opportunity to demonstrate further the value they would bring.

The new measures will come into effect on 01 January 2021. 


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