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21.11.12

SEUK launches new guidance for Social Value Act

New guidance is now available to help local authorities incorporate social value into their contracts. Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) has launched the Social Value Guide to help the public sector prepare for the Social Value Act’s implementation in January 2013.

The guide is aimed at commissioners and procurement officials, to explain why social value is important for local government and how it can be embedded in new contracts. It was launched at the SEUK’s Social Value Conference yesterday.

The Act received royal assent in March this year, and requires councils and other public sector organisations to factor in social value when awarding contracts.

Peter Holbrook, CEO of SEUK, said at the conference: “We’re doing everything we can to help public bodies gear up for the Act’s implementation. It’s set to transform the way public services are commissioned and delivered across the UK so it’s critical that local authorities are fully aware of its implications and consider what it means for the way they run their local services.

“It requires smart procurement and new ways of commissioning that help get social value in the DNA of local government practices. If social value is fully embedded in public service procurement, the public sector’s purchasing power can be used to achieve social and environmental benefits alongside financial efficiency.

“The Social Value Guide is designed to provide commissioners, procurement officials and providers with access to the support they need to implement the Act effectively.”

Jo Webber, deputy policy director at NHS Confederation, added: “The Social Value Act is very important to the NHS. This is a burning platform that won’t go away; we must work collaboratively across local authorities and listen to communities to find out how to best support them using social value.”

Cllr Ruth Cadbury, deputy leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, speaking on behalf of the LGA, said: “Social value is on the mind of procurement officers. Many local councils are already finding innovative ways to embed social value in their procurement practices. But we must share learnings so we can improve what we do and shape a consistent policy on social value.”

The November/December 2012 edition of PSE includes an interview with Liverpool City Council’s Cllr Paul Brant on its new social value procurement policy. Visit www.publicsectorexecutive.com/subscribe

The guide is available at: www.socialenterprise.org.uk/uploads/files/2012/11/social_value_guide.pdf

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