Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has recently invested significantly in its CCTV network, control room and network systems. This has included upgrades to a number of cameras throughout the Borough and a refit to the control room bringing in technological advancements to the service. To safeguard this investment and to ensure that all Public Surveillance Systems (PSS) and building monitoring is fully operational to optimum performance, the Council required a CCTV Maintenance contract.
The Council decided to embed social value into this contract primarily as it was felt this was outside of the usual tenders where social value would normally be included, we felt that if we could demonstrate a positive outcome then this would be a good measure of the potential success of the National Social Value Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) Framework 2018 and something that could then be developed, incorporated and rolled out as standard across future procurement exercises.
The Council, working in collaboration with the National Social Value Task Force, the NEPO Regional Social Value Delivery Group along with a wide range of other internal stakeholders including Legal Services and the Council’s Principal Employability Officer developed its Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents. This included developing the current ITT to detail and provide examples of the Social Value requirements, producing new contractual clauses and producing a presentation to deliver to prospective providers at a planned Bidder event.
It was recognised that potential bidders, specifically SMEs within the industry may not be accustomed to or may not have been previously required to consider Social Value to the extent being asked of them through the TOMs Framework and this procurement process. It was therefore critical that the Council ensured the instructions published were clear, concise and understandable, and provided workable examples where appropriate.
To further support bidders, an event was organised to give an overview of the procurement process but predominantly to focus on detailing the Social Value element of the tender. This presentation included clarification on the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, initiatives that the Council had already undertaken in relation to Social Value when sourcing its requirements and what was expected when sourcing future requirements. The event gave the bidders and internal stakeholders the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Councils vision on Social Value and importantly, to ask any questions. Feedback from bidders and internal colleagues at this event was plentiful and evidenced the need for us to engage with the market, explain the process in plain English and be as supportive as possible.
The first and important outcome was the successful and compliant return of the Social Value submission and method statement from bidders.
The measures the successful bidder committed to are as follows;
- 2 new positions (Full Time Equivalent) as a direct result of being awarded the contract with a social value of £56,426
- 39 weeks of apprenticeships on the contract at Level 2,3 or 4+ with a social value of £6,553.60
- 4 weeks of work placements or pre-employment courses (unpaid) with a social value of £575.76
- £1,000 of equipment or resources donated to VCSEs
- £10,000 spent in the local supply chain through the contract
- £10,000 spent through the contract with local SMEs
- £1,000 donated or contributed to local community projects
The total value attributed to Social Value as defined in the Social Value TOMs Proxy Values is £77,575.36 per annum, £232,726.08 for the initial 3 year term. A robust Contract Management Plan has been developed to ensure the successful bidders compliance with their tender throughout the contract duration. The annual value of the contract is approximately £200,000, meaning the Social Value that will be delivered is approximately 39% additional to the annual value of the contract and demonstrating way in excess of our initial expectations.
As a result of this process the beneficiaries include, local people who will benefit from employment and apprenticeship opportunities, VCSE organisations that will benefit from equipment / resource donations, local businesses via committed spend through supply chains and local communities running projects locally. Other beneficiaries include organisations that bid for this opportunity by providing them information and experience to new methods of Social Value and the wider procurement community through sharing lessons learned. In addition, the success of this pilot project will provide the Council with a viable tool in which to measure Social Value moving forward.
The Council has successfully led and managed the delivery of the Social Value TOMs through the development of its own documents and processes, embedding social value as an important element of the sourcing of our requirements.
This project has secured a strong, reliable and measurable commitment to Social Value that covers a range of measures across ‘Jobs’, ‘Growth’ and ‘Social, Healthier and more Resilient communities’. As with any new process there were uncertainties and challenges, which with the support, guidance and recommendations from the teams listed below, ensured the project was a success.