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last updated: 6th April 2018 4 stars

Put simply the Act requires all contracting authorities to:

  • consider how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area;
  • how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement; and
  • whether there is a need to undertake any consultation about the two duties set out above.

 

Impacts on Procurement

The duties of the Act only applies to public service contracts* above the EU threshold or when setting up a framework agreement for services above the EU threshold.

*public services contract has the same meaning as in The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 as amended

“Relevant area” is the contracting authorities own area in which it “primarily exercises its functions”. The Act is clearly written with local authorities in mind and must be interpreted to determine exactly what this means for Colleges.

EU procurement principles of proportionality and relevance must still be adhered to i.e. only matters that are relevant to what is being procured and the extent to which it is proportionate to take these matters into account can be considered when awarding public services contracts.   A College must also be careful not to discriminate against suppliers outside of the UK or the local area.

The requirement of the Act must be complied with before starting the procurement process.

The Act only requires the College to consider social value and to evidence that consideration. It does not force the inclusion of social value within a procurement although the College must record reasons for not including it as part of the procurement process.

Failure to comply does not invalidate the procurement.

Checklist of Actions for Colleges

A Checklist of Actions is designed to assist Colleges to implement the duties of the Public Services Act.

Summary

The Act creates a positive duty to consider social improvements available from procurement but does not alter the already complex procurement regime.

Additional Resources

CCS Social Value Act Guidance 2018

PPN 10/12 The Public Services Social Value Act - advice for procurers

Social Values Public Procurement Legal Guide Jan 2014

DfE Guidance on The Public Services Social Value Act

Social issues in purchasing – OGC 2006 guide

Social issues in public procurement – OGC guide

Buying social – EC guide to taking account of social considerations in public procurement

Social and environmental policies in public procurement

A guide to sustainability issues

Buying Green - A handbook on green procurement

The West Midlands procurement framework for jobs and skills – guidance on how you can ensure local people benefit from your procurement activity.

Guidance on community benefit contract clauses

Buying Social - an article by Bill Bullivant, head of Clarke Willmotts public procurement team.

Cabinet Office Social Value Implementation Measurement Project Case Studies

 

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