Latest Public Sector News

29.01.14

‘Much more to do’ on social value

While commissioners are now more confident using the Social Value Act, providers say that more support and guidance is needed.

New research from Social Enterprise UK found that 81% of commissioners surveyed have taken steps to use the Act and more than 75% said their organisation has issued tenders using social value as a criterion.

But while 31% of commissioners and procurement staff feel there is a lack of guidance and support, 51% of providers feel this way.

The research is published ahead of the anniversary of the Act, 31 January.

Olof Jonsdottir, public affairs manager and social value lead at Social Enterprise UK said: “The results of this survey are encouraging. The Act is a terrifically valuable piece of legislation, and has lit a touchpaper in some places. But it has too often been dismissed as something that, in the absence of statutory guidance, commissioners might ignore.

“We’re pleased at the results, which suggest that the informing and awareness-raising that public and social sector bodies have done is working. But there is much more to do. This is a self-selecting group and we may assume the commissioners represented are supportive of the Act. Anecdotal evidence still tells us there’s a lag in a number of places, where commissioning and procurement staff are not applying the Act nearly so well.

“Our main concern is that providers – the social enterprises, charities and other organisations that are selling their services to public bodies – feel they need more guidance. This is not too surprising, given that most of the guidance and support so far has been directed at public bodies. Social sector bodies have done a good job producing guidance – almost half of providers have heard about the Act via these sources.

“But the gap leaves the sector vulnerable. There needs to be greater co-ordination of all the information that exists to help all organisations use the Act. We don’t want to see our members losing out to larger private firms that can invest much more money in understanding the Act and winning tenders on it. We’re glad that public bodies are using social value criteria – now it’s time to ensure our members are as good as they can be at proving they have the competitive advantage on social value. They campaigned long and hard for this Act.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

02/09/2019Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

In February this year, official Northern Powerhouse Partner, Cognitive Publishing, delivered EvoNorth 2019.  The two day event was designed to amplify and highlight futur... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >