In January 2021 the Government’s new procurement policy note PPN 06/20 (on taking account of social value in the award of Central Government contracts) came into force. The Note requires bidders for contracts to apply a Social Value Model to explain how social value will be delivered through the services it commissions. Unsurprisingly, many other public sector organisations have taken the government’s lead, placing weighting of between 5% and 30% on the answers each bidder gives for this part of their offer.
In a separate but related move, the Treasury announced changes to its Green Book which offers guidance on how to appraise and evaluate policies, projects and programmes. Part of these changes encourage weightings for projects that increase the benefits for poorer people and reduce the weighting for projects that benefit wealthier people, an approach that supports the so called ‘levelling up’ agenda.
Together these policy changes could mean that the assessment and integration of social value, at least for public sector projects, takes on a much more prominent role in the future. Equally, the narrow definitions and relaxed requirements could overlook actual social value created in favour of tick-boxing exercises. So the question is, does recent Government policy amount to a major shift in thinking about social value, or is there still a long way to go before it assumes at least equal parity with economic considerations?
This event will share the latest thinking about how to accurately report social value, and will invite debate, questions, and the sharing of best practice in the field to determine what these policy changes could mean for the future of social value.