Cabinet Office launches consultation on social value in procurement

The Cabinet Office continues to promote the social value agenda launching a consultation on how government should take account of social value in the award of central government contracts.

12 March 2019

We reported in December 2018 that the Cabinet Office government was continuing to develop its policy with regards to social value in public procurement.

On 11 March 2019, the Cabinet Office launched a consultation welcoming responses from suppliers and from government bodies and other involved in public procurement. 

The consultation acknowledges the need for central government to consider social value when structuring evaluation models, but also that it is often difficult for the procuring body to fully understand the particular local social and economic issues. This is not intended to authorities other than central government at this stage, but if it is successful it is possible that this will be rolled out to a wider group of contracting authorities.

To address this, a new evaluation model is proposed to help provide a consistent approach, with high level themes, policy outcomes, standard award criteria and metrics. These cover areas such as the promotion of diverse supply chains; skills and employment; inclusion, mental health and well-being; environmental sustainability and safe supply chains. It is proposed that a minimum of 10 per cent of award criteria weighting is reserved for evaluating social value.

Respondents are asked four questions:

  1. Do you agree with the proposed policy metrics in the model [in the attached annex]? Do you have examples of such metrics being successfully used in public procurement?
  2. Do you agree that the proposed minimum 10% weighting for evaluating social value in the bid is appropriate?
  3. Does the proposed approach risk creating any barriers to particular sizes or types of bidders, including SMEs or VCSEs? How might these risks be mitigated?
  4. How can we ensure government’s existing procurement policy mandates (for example on levelling the playing field for SMEs) take precedence in designing the procurement?

The final date for responses is 10 June 2019.

If you would like to discuss any of this further, please contact Patrick Parkin or your usual Burges Salmon contact.

Key contact

Patrick Parkin

Patrick Parkin Director

  • Healthcare
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Commercial

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