Government’s new social value measures

Clearly Covid-19 has (and continues to) put a significant strain on the UK’s economy, with the lockdowns causing mass job losses and business closures. The government (which spends around £873bn each year on public services) has brought into place new social value procurement measures to minimise these implications as well as promote new jobs and skills, encourage economic growth and prosperity, tackle our contribution to climate change and promote equal opportunities.

From 1st January 2021 businesses seeking to win government work will have to set out how they will deliver the new social value priorities, which will be scored against the government’s new social value model. Suppliers will also be marked on the wider positive benefits they will bring by delivering the contract.

The new social value model, which government departments will evaluate suppliers against, includes:

  • Supporting the Covid-19 recovery, including helping local communities manage and bounce back from the impact it has had
  • 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 opportunities, including reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality. Improving health and wellbeing and community integration

While social value is by no means a new addition to government tendering, these new measures will have an unquestionable impact on some organisations’ ability to bid for and win public sector contracts, where they do not have the capability or reach to impact a local community. This means that businesses who may rely on government contracts, but would usually “no bid” opportunities where social value is a material factor, will have to rethink their social value strategy in preparation for the new year.

With regards to the new measures, Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez said:

“Value to the taxpayer should lie at the heart of our procurement decisions. Too often, however, “value” has been narrowly defined by price without taking into account other important factors such as the number of local jobs or apprenticeships a contractor will provide, the care they show the environment in their business practices or the number of SMEs involved in their wider supply chain.

We want to see a greater variety of companies deliver government contracts, from every corner of our country – not just because that benefits local economies and communities but because it helps diversify our risk, create a more resilient supplier base and deliver some of our critical priorities.

If you’d like to know how Impart could support you to develop your social value proposition or how the benefits of your service model/solution could tie into them, please email Simon at simon.esbach@impart.co.uk or call for a no-obligation chat on 03333 448789.