Birmingham City Council print contract social value clause supports local supply chain

20 November 2014

Birmingham City Council has introduced a social value clause to its contract for printing services, which means its print management supplier must use local companies where they are capable of providing the specific service.

Corporate Document Services (CDS), which won the contract for the provision of Birmingham City Council's printing services in April, has signed up and been accredited to the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility, under which it is targeted to direct 100 per cent of the print opportunities to Birmingham-based suppliers.

The charter aims to support and boost the local economy via a set of guiding principles for the council and its suppliers to adhere to.

The key performance indicator for the contract is that 50 per cent of overall spend is directed to suppliers in Birmingham within a 10-mile radius of the Council House and 100 per cent within a 30-mile radius of the Council House. CDS is also required to encourage all second tier suppliers from its Approved Supplier Database providing print services have themselves have signed up to the charter by April 2015.

“Prior to the contract, we had over 250 suppliers scattered around the country,” Andrea Webster, strategic contracts manager at Birmingham City Council, told SM. “There was no central control of brand or message as decisions were taken by individual departments, no management information about spend, inefficient ordering processes and high transaction costs.”

“The awarding of this contract gave us the opportunity to address these historic issues, deliver social value by supporting the local economy and make potential savings of £500,000,” she added.

A statement from the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) read: "The flexibility of the CCS framework has enabled Birmingham City Council to secure a value for money solution which has importantly addressed its strategy for social responsibility. CCS believes this innovative solution has paved the way for other public sector organisations to follow." 

Andrea Webster added: “Social value can be delivered under collaborative frameworks if the contract is structured right and there are mechanisms in place to monitor the delivery of social value."

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