Local Authorities wary of costs when considering social value


New research reveals that almost half of Local Authorities are reluctant to encourage the delivery of social value through procurement, believing that reducing costs is more important.

The research highlights that councils may be missing a trick by not fully leveraging their significant expenditure on goods and services by encouraging suppliers to deliver wider social benefits in the community.

The research found that whilst 75% of Local Authorities are already engaging with their suppliers to increase social value in line with the recent Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, 83% of Local Authorities do not measure the benefits of any social value initiatives they use in their existing procurement processes.

The research, carried out by BDO, surveyed over 95 local authorities in association with the Municipal Journal.

Andy Mahon from BDO, said:

“Untapped opportunities for councils to achieve ‘more for less’ are few and far between in the current economic environment. This legislation should act as a catalyst for changing the way the supply chain is managed rather than simply being viewed as another regulatory hurdle. At a time when significant changes are taking place in the way that councils approach commissioning and purchasing services, there is real potential to work with suppliers to ensure every contract is delivering the widest benefit to the local community and not just the short sighted view of value for money.”


SEUK is running a one day conference for Local Authorities, commissioners and social enterprises to find out how the new Social Value Act will impact their work and what changes they will need to make to comply with it.