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Panel launched to study local impact of Social Value Act

The think-tank Localis has assembled a panel of experts to examine the impact of the Social Value Act.

Localis has assembled a panel of experts as part of a new research project, called The Value of Everything, who will attempt to quantity the extent to which the impact of the legislation could be improved through better practice and more consistent implementation.

The Social Value act first came into force in January 2013 and calls on all public sector organisations to factor in economic, social and environmental well-being when awarding contracts.

But since it became law, there have been questions raised about how effective it is and whether or not it should be strengthened.

The panel includes former communities secretary, Hazel Blears, the chief executive of Social Value UK, Ben Carpenter and Kensington and Chelsea RLBC chief executive, Barry Quirk.

‘Ultimately, the Social Value Act does not go far enough. It requires no obligation for these benefits to be implemented once the contract is awarded. There is also the concern that the flexibility this legislation affords commissioning bodies leads to inconsistency and a lack of understanding in how to apply the Act,’ said Localis chief executive, Jonathan Werran.

‘How seriously do commissioners take social value prices and is this dependent on the model used or identity of the bidder? The Value of Everything will explore whether the Act has had a substantive impact in changing the outcomes of the commissioning process.’

The executive director of Mears, Alan Long, commented: ‘As we launch our social value report on our activities in 2018, it seems the right time to say that the sector has not unleashed the true impact of what social value can achieve when done properly. We support Localis in their call to create a fair, simplified level playing field for social value contributions.

‘For us, social value is about making a positive difference to enable individuals, and communities where we operate, to flourish and thrive,’ added Mr Long.

‘If we didn’t care about the people and the communities we work with, we would not be able to do our jobs well, and our business wouldn’t survive. Putting social value at the heart of our business is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.’

Photo by Aymanejed (Pixabay)

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