“We are, of course, focused on getting the maximum benefit locally from council spending and that has led us to make a major push on ‘social value’: leveraging our procurement expenditure to create jobs and skill up local people and to generate opportunities for local SMEs, micro- businesses and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) in our supply chains.”
Martin Reeves, Chief Executive
Coventry City Council, National Procurement Champion
The Local Government Association has recently published a new National Procurement Strategy, building on its achievements since 2014. This strategy looks to councils and groups of councils to provide local and regional leadership and to assess their own progress.
The Strategy focuses on three themes which reflect local government’s priorities for the next four years. These themes are showing leadership, behaving commercially and achieving an increase in social value. The objectives include key areas such as procurement strategies that promote competition in the marketplace including more opportunities for SMEs and VCSEs and managing strategic risk, while also identifying four enables: developing talent, exploiting digital technology, enabling innovation and embedding change.
This approach shows a high level of flexibility, as each council can choose the level of maturity it will aim for in each of the areas, allowing them to tailor the targets to their priorities.
This strategy highly prioritises social value, making it possible for local governments and organisations to track their performance based on the benefits they bring to their local communities. The toolkit builds on the Social Value Maturity Index, published by the National Social Value Taskforce in 2016. It includes a detailed description of each key area, explaining what leadership and innovation in Social Value look like, helping organisations understand their social value maturity. These include personalised tasks and objectives for each area, such as reporting, data collection and training, but also provide a basic understanding of the issue highlighting its importance and giving a clear definition.
The Social Value Maturity Index, developed by the Social Value Portal has also been updated to reflect the changes in the National Procurement Strategy. The Index is a method for determining where you are on the journey compared to your peers, and to understand maturity and what steps you need to take next. Our self-assessment toolkit is available on our website.