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David Lidington © Chris McAndrew

26 June 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

All procurements will have to “explicitly evaluate social value” from now on, says the government.


In a speech to the think tank Reform, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster David Lidington, announced that the government “will extend the requirement of the Social Value Act in central government to ensure that all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value, where appropriate, rather than just consider it.”


Lidington said: “We will also require all departments in central government to regularly report on the social impact of new procurements, and we will train all 4,000 of the government’s commercial buyers how to take account of social value and procure successfully from social enterprises.


“By doing so, we will ensure that contracts are awarded on the basis of more than only value for money – important though that is – but a company’s values too, so that their actions in society are rightly recognised and rewarded.”


He added that the government would also “develop proposals for the government’s biggest suppliers to publish data and provide action plans for how they plan to address key social issues and disparities”.


He said this included “ethnic minority representation in their workforce, the gender pay gap throughout the company and what they are doing to tackle the scourge of modern slavery”.


Sean Haley, regional chairman and managing director, service operations, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “For me there were many important messages in his speech, but the main thing I took away was the simple, and somewhat obvious message that for outsourcing to really deliver and rebuild public trust we must get it right from the start.


“We particularly welcomed his call for public services to be “delivered with values at their heart, where the wider social benefits matter and are recognised‘. By extending the requirements of the Social Value Act and changing the procurement process to have more emphasis on value and outcomes, he made a big step towards building trust.”