Including social value in digital procurements

Now is the time for the digital sector to understand social value

Today, the digital sector is vast. So many services are delivered and procured digitally and this is only going to grow. The public sector is just as much a part of this as the private sector; spend by local government in the digital sector is currently estimated to be about £2.6 billion.

However, it can be hard for the digital sector to create tangible social value – if the business operates online, how can real communities benefit? Many services are delivered remotely, which makes it tricky to pin down elements such as spend on local economies or environmental benefits.

Since 1 January 2021, government departments have had to factor social value into the procurement processes and contracts – so, the big chunk of business that goes to the digital sector cannot be ignored.

To meet this challenge, Social Value Portal formed a digital sector working group to explore the challenges faced by digital sector bidders, and how these might be addressed. This guide is the outcome of the group’s work. It includes:

  • An outline of the National TOMs Framework, our tool for measuring and monitoring social value
  • A proposal for how the digital sector can approach social value
  • Specific pointers for how The National TOMs can be used by the digital sector

The guide is the culmination of a large amount of cross-sector work, with input from councils, the public and the private sector. We are all aware of the reach of the digital sector and how it plays an increasingly integral part of how we all live and work. Embedding social value now will lead to vast benefits in the future.

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Including social value in digital procurements