Oldham Council launches social value procurement framework

16 July 2013

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17 July 2013 | Will Green

Oldham Council has introduced a new framework that takes into account social value when procurement decisions are taken.

The local authority says new suppliers will now be assessed not only on cost but also on criteria including local job creation, support for local charities and investment in communities.

The council works with 5,700 suppliers – with an annual procurement spend of £263 million – and it is hoping the Social Value Procurement Framework will “ensure there are significant additional benefits to local people and the economy when agreeing future contracts for goods and services”.

Councillor Jenny Harrison, Labour cabinet member for commissioning and public sector reform, said: “Local authorities are facing unprecedented pressure on finances, increasing every year.

“We need to look at different ways of doing things in procurement, changing the way we provide services and so forth, but we want to do things in an ethical way that encourages the local economy.” 

The Labour-controlled council set a £686 million budget for this year with plans to find savings of £4 million.

Harrison said: “Considering we work with several thousand suppliers in many different areas, it’s only right that when we’re looking for potential partners we ask what else they can bring to the table as well as value for council taxpayers’ money.

“We believe that if a supplier has the opportunity to secure business in Oldham then they also have a responsibility to do their bit for the borough.

“This approach will vary for different types of suppliers – we wouldn’t expect a small local community enterprise to be in the same position as a large international company, for example – but we do expect every supplier to make a meaningful contribution.

“It’s not just about buying the cheapest, but about using the resources we do have to achieve the best possible impact for our borough and our communities.”

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