By Fiona Hunt
In late September 2020, the UK Government released a new plan for delivering greater social value through its procurement processes.
The new measures come into place in January 2021, and have lofty goals including jobs growth, greater prosperity through broad economic growth, and even tackling climate change.
These measures will be introduced through a new model for government departments to better assess the total social impact of suppliers’ bids.
The plan proposes to supply greater opportunities for SME’s to do business with the Government by allowing suppliers to demonstrate not just the financial benefits of one supplier over another, but the total social impact. This means smaller companies with traditionally less buying power in their supply chain will not be penalised over larger businesses who can supply at lower prices through volume-based purchasing. It also means larger companies will need to consider additional measures such as carbon footprints and wastage. This broader assessment should naturally lead to a more diverse supplier base and a more competitive one.
The model proposes to include measurement against the following:
- Supporting COVID-19 recovery, including helping local communities manage and recover from the impact of COVID.
- 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 opportunity, including reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality Improving health and wellbeing and community integration.
To level the playing field for SME’s, government departments will need to undergo specific training to use the new model and central Government will now be required to go further than the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to ensure that all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value.
You can find all the detail of the new policy here.
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