Time to consider social value

The Social Value Act started life in June 2010 as a private member’s bill from Conservative MP Chris White. Originally entitled the Public Services (Social Enterprises and Social Value) Bill, it was shortened — and arguably watered down — on its passage through parliament. The Cabinet Office has produced a Procurement Policy Note for commissioners and procurers on what they need to do to comply with the Act.

The Act applies to all bodies that are contracting authorities under the public procurement regulations.

It only applies to contracts for services (not contracts for goods or works) and to framework contracts for services, but not call-off contracts made under the framework. It only applies to services contracts that are caught by the Regulations, so above the threshold (currently £173,934), but will apply to Part B services that are above this threshold, as well as Part A. The PPN does, however, say that commissioners “could, as a matter of good practice” apply the Act’s principles to other contracts and that the principles may be particularly relevant in lower value contracts where services for citizens (such as welfare, social and health services) are being commissioned and procured…

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