'Writing social value into contracts can generate 20 per cent of extra value'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
20 April 2015

Incorporating social clauses into contracts can generate between 10 and 20 per cent of additional value, a conference was told.

Guy Battle, CEO of The Social Value Portal consultancy, said to achieve the extra value it was necessary to stipulate in financial and non-financial terms in contracts the social value outcomes organisations were aiming for.

Speaking at the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO) Conference in London today, Battle said buyers should use tools such as the government’s unit cost database and the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust data bank, which help provide financial values for non-financial outcomes, to assign cash values to things like apprenticeships and CO2 reductions.

“If you implement the Social Value Act you can deliver between 10 and 20 per cent of additional value,” said Battle. “To deliver that you have got to develop a strategy.

“Setting yourselves targets is very important. Be transparent in contracts: this is what we want, this is how we will measure it.”

Terry Brewer, divisional director, commercial, contracts and procurement at Harrow Council, recommended organisations set out “visions and priorities” in a social value statement, covering “here is what the council is trying to achieve, how can you help us?”.

“We have issued all procurement staff with toolkits and templates and a suggested list of areas where contracts may be able to help us with social value,” he said.

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