Brighten all corners – maximising social value in place

This latest report from UK think tank Localis looks at the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 was first presented to Parliament a decade ago, enshrining in law the duty of public sector commissioning to pay regard to economic, social and environmental wellbeing when making procurement decisions. In this time, the incorporation of a social value element into the assessment of public sector contracts has transitioned from a campaigning concern to a statutory requirement and finally to a universally recognised consideration in public sector commercialism.

With ubiquity, however, there is always the risk of complacency. Brighten All Corners is a timely examination of local implementation of the Act with recommendations for a deeper, more meaningful role for social value led procurement in raising local prosperity. Through a series of interviews, roundtable discussions and open survey exercises, the report highlights several issues with the Social Value Act in practice. The crux of these issues is a need for a degree of standardisation, carefully combined with a built-in consideration of local context. We propose a new model of Community Value Charters to meet these challenges.

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