The act aims to balance social value with improving value for money in procurement ©123RF
The act aims to balance social value with improving value for money in procurement ©123RF

Use the social value act AND make savings

Five years on from the Public Services (Social Value) Act, a lot of progress has been made, says Chris White, former MP and author of the act, but buyers are still concerned about the extra costs or falling foul of competition law

Here are some tips on how to use the act to leverage savings.

Utilise the information and training available
To help buyers understand the law, training and resources – such as the Commissioning Academy – are being rolled out pretty much all the time, says White. Other tools, including the Social Value Network’s recently released TOMs framework, are freely available to help buyers measure outcomes.

Train your legal team at the same time
Fear of breaking competition laws can often stem from the legal department. Consider training your lawyers at the same time as your procurement team.

Use the act in the way that is most appropriate for you
The social value act only legislates for the provision of services. But there is nothing stopping buyers from applying the act to other areas including goods and works. A number of local authorities have already done so successfully, according to White.

Share the successes of social value
It’s not easy for stakeholders to see the benefits of social value unless you promote your successes. While procurement may not always be seen as exciting, showing people the outcomes of using this act to its full extent definitely can be, says White.

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