Agenda item

A New Approach to Social Value

Report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance


The Committee were presented with a report and presentation to update them and provide an opportunity for the new approach to Social Value that is being developed.


The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires all Contracting Authorities to consider social value criteria for inclusion in their commission and procurement activities and specifically in respect of contracts above the Public Contracts Regulations threshold.  Contracting Authorities should consider not only how to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area served by them but also how to secure that improvement and measure it during the life of their contracts.


The Procurement Team along with other North East Local Authorities and NEPO have been focusing on the further development of Social Value criteria that can be measured.  Working alongside a social enterprise, the Social Value Portal, a national toolkit has been developed to translate social value measures into a monetary value, and therefore enable comparisons to be made across a range of social value criteria.  This tooklit has been extensively adopted in various ways by authorities across the Country.


Whilst the measures have been devised nationally, the Social Value Portal agreed to provide local, Gateshead specific metrics to use in our social value evaluations.  The ongoing maintenance of the metrics is under consideration as the social value portal have advised that updating the metrics will be chargeable, and the fee associated with updating the metrics is not insignificant, therefore working with NEPO we are considering alternative options regarding the maintenance of local metrics.


A team of subject experts from across the Council came together to form a Social Value Delivery Group and they considered the 150+ measures from the toolkit, streamlined and prioritised  them against the themes in the draft Corporate Commissioning and Procurement Strategy 2021/22 – 2026/27 which should also represent Council priorities to create the Gateshead Social Value toolkit.


In Gateshead every contract will have a default 20% weighting for Social Value that is then divided into 4 themed areas of the draft Corporate Commissioning and Procurement Strategy Other Local Authorities allocated 10% we are looking to allocate 20% weighting.


It was noted that there is an awful lot of priorities to be considered as a default position.  It was queried whether there would be a standard list each contract would include, however it was considered that there should be flexibility to bespoke the measures to the contract matter.  It was also noted that some measures would not be used as there may be terms and conditions within the contract that mandate specific measures.


It was noted that the Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, would have to be reviewed in light of the Social Value toolkit.


It was noted that one of the things we don’t do well enough is that when things go wrong ask for a proper review of lessons learned when we have made errors we should build that into the process.


It was queried whether we are going to support Gateshead based organisations to do this.  It was noted that we have to be careful to comply with procurement law and not give advantage to any suppliers, , however, one of the things we do have is market engagement sessions and often the majority of suppliers who attend are local.  We also work with our Economic Development Team who do lots of work with Gateshead based organisations to upskill them and ensure that they are able to compete for work.  We have held several workshops over the years to engage markets, however we now  try and target the sessions towards any contracts that might be due for renewal.


RESOLVED    -           (i)        That the comments of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted

                                   (ii)        That all procurements exceeding £100k should incorporate the Gateshead Social Value Toolkit with a default weighting of 20% unless otherwise approved by the Service Director, Corporate Commissioning and Procurement

                                   (iii)        That a wider consultation on the approach be undertaken


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