The Government recently published a Procurement Policy Note (PPN 06/20) detailing its new model for delivering social value in procurement. It was designed by a joint team from the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), who worked with Claire Dove, the Government’s Crown Representative for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs). The new social value model will be applied to all new procurements as of January 1st 2021.

This model goes above and beyond the requirements of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, stating that social value must be “explicitly evaluated in all central government procurement”, as opposed to merely “considered” as required by the 2012 Act. All new procurements must weight social value as at least 10% of a tender’s total score in order to ensure it plays a significant role in bid evaluation.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the new model is the addition of “COVID-19 recovery” as a key theme. Bidders must describe how they will “help local communities to manage and recover from the impact of COVID-19” by conducting activities that, in delivering the contract:

  • Provide employment or retraining to those left unemployed by the epidemic;
  • Support people and communities to manage and recover from the impacts of the virus;
  • Support organisations and businesses to manage and recover from the impacts of the virus;
  • Implement social distancing, remote working, and other workplace conditions that support the COVID-19 recovery effort;
  • Support the mental and physical health of those affected by the virus.

It is noteworthy that, while this new model currently only applies to central government contracts, historically this has usually trickled down to also apply to local authorities and other Public Sector organisations.

To read the PPN, please click here.