Report on year one of the Social Value Act

Sun,30 March 2014

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012: One Year On

The Social Value Act requires public sector agencies, when commissioning a public service, to consider how the service they are procuring could bring added economic, environmental and social benefits.

Commissioners also have to consider whether they should consult on these issues (for instance with potential users or suppliers of the service in question). The Government has produced guidance for commissioners on the Act, explaining its implications in more detail.

This first year report finds that commissioners are increasingly thinking innovatively about social value, and the shift is organic and locally-led, supported by a range of non-governmental activity, rather than one prescribed by Whitehall but that:

  • Some commissioners are yet to be inspired as to the potential of embedding social value in the work that they do
  • Some commissioners are held back by uncertainty as to what they can and cannot do under the law
  • There is a lot of material and activity to help commissioners understand how to embed social value in their commissioning processes, but some see this support as fragmented and difficult to access
  • Some providers who could bring added social value to the table find it difficult to demonstrate that added value to commissioners.

The report states, with examples, how the Government will tackle the barriers to implementation in the second year of the Act being in force.

You can read the report at