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New Central Government contracts must show Social Value

12 January 2021
government procurement social value blog image

From the 1st January 2021, the government has introduced a new ‘Social Value’ procurement policy meaning all businesses awarded Central Government contracts must demonstrate that they can offer social value in the delivery of that contract.


This represents an exciting step forward, highlighting not only the importance of businesses' economic value for money but also their ability to support the communities in which they are based - social value.


At Neighbourly we’ve already seen the phenomenal impact businesses can have when building social value into their brand and purpose. By supporting local communities via our network of thousands of local good causes, businesses have already proven they can build in scalable and meaningful impact through the donation of surplus food and products, employee volunteering programmes and financial donation management.


We're therefore pleased to see some of these methods and approaches to social impact adopted and recognised as important and measurable factors for government’s future contract assessments and are looking forward to seeing what kind of effect this will have on local communities and wider business communities in the coming months and years.

Measuring social value

The new social value policy will account for 10% of the score awarded to applicants looking to secure central government contracts.


Social value will be assessed with an emphasis on qualitative evaluation to ensure ‘quality over quantity’ - allowing commercial teams to be able to select objectives that are relevant and proportionate to their procurement.


The Social Value policy has been broken down and modelled using key themes, objectives and outcomes that help describe ‘what good looks like’.


The key themes are as follows: 


  • Help local communities to manage and recover from the impact of COVID-19


  • Create new businesses, new jobs and new skills


  • Increase supply chain resilience and capacity


  • Effective stewardship of the environment 


  • Reduce the disability employment gap


  • Tackle workforce inequality


  • Improve health and wellbeing 


  • Improve community integration

The future for business

It’s never been more important for businesses to take responsibility for ensuring community focussed policies are intrinsic to their purpose - creating a more sustainable and fairer society for all.


Whilst the government’s social value procurement policy is only one part of the puzzle, it is an integral step forward to formally recognising the importance of businesses in supporting the needs of local communities - including a structure for what this might look like. It also represents a telling sign that the economy is moving closer to a model where all types of business, not just those looking to secure government contracts, will need to show social value as well as economic value.


As the new policy comes into play through 2021, we will be continuing to support businesses that are evolving to offer social value to local communities as well as sharing knowledge and insights from this latest government move.


To stay up-to-date, follow us on Twitter @nbrly or via the Neighbourly LinkedIn page.