Update: The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012


The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 became law on the 8 March 2012.  From 31 January 2013 the Act is 'live' and commissioners and procurers must adhere to it.

The Act, for the first time, places a duty on public bodies to consider social value ahead of a procurement.

The Act applies to the provision of services, or the provision of services together with the purchase or hire of goods or the carrying out of works.

The wording of the Act states that..
The authority must consider--
(a) how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and
(b) how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement.

Under the Act, "social value" means that the authority must consider only matters that are relevant to what is proposed to be procured and, in doing so, must consider the extent to which it is proportionate in all the circumstances to take those matters into account.

The Cabinet Office has issued a Procurement Policy Note on the Act as guidance to commissioners and procurers.