The Public Services (Social Value) Act that comes into effect in January 2013 will require public bodies to consider how the services they commission will impact on the wider community, measuring value for money not just financially, but also socially, economically and environmentally. The Social Enterprise UK guide is aimed at commissioners and procurement officials, providing an overview of the Act and practical guidance on how social value can be embedded into the commissioning and procurement process.

The new guide was launched at Social Enterprise UK’s Social Value Conference on the 20th November, with lawyers Mark Cook and Gayle Monk from Anthony Collins Solicitors delivering  a seminar on how best to utilise the guide.

Mark Cook said: “It is essential that public sector commissioners and procurement officials know exactly how to put this policy change into practice. Recent research demonstrates that there is a strong appetite amongst public bodies for delivering increased social value, although a very high percentage of authorities feel that they lack the experience required to develop this approach further.

“With the right knowledge and support, commissioners can learn how to embed a culture of social value into their procurement processes, feeling confident that they know what to do and when, and ensuring that the social value approach is bespoke to each and every contract. One great benefit of the Social Value Act is that it helps authorities align their activities with local needs, shaping their services in a way that is likely to have the biggest impact on the surrounding community.”

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