• Guy Battle
  • 3 minutes
  • 25/05/2022
14113

Queen’s Speech 2022: reasons to be cheerful

The Queen’s Speech 2022 continued from where the Levelling Up agenda left off. Our CEO, Guy Battle, highlights some reasons to be cheerful, and throws in a few words of warning in the process.

2022’s Queen’s Speech was memorable for many things – not least as HRH Prince Charles’ first outing (many congratulations Your Royal Highness!).

The 134 pages of strategy and proposed bills read in parliament covered Levelling Up; women’s health and a UK infrastructure bank. But by far the most important and exciting opportunity for the social value community is laid out on pages 53 & 54: the proposed details of a new Procurement Bill.

The speech discusses several key priorities for procurers. It states the government’s intention to make it easier for small and medium sized organisations and voluntary, community and social enterprises to win work. There is a call for buyers to be more cutthroat and exclude any suppliers who do not deliver from future tenders. And then there is the promise to enshrine in law the principles of delivering value for money, maximising public benefit, and treating suppliers equally.

For me, the last section is crucial. It echoes the government’s Levelling Up agenda, and asks that we consider value beyond solely cost savings.

‘Amounting to around £300 billion, public procurement accounts for around a third of all public expenditure every year. By improving the way public procurement is regulated, the Government can not only save the taxpayer money but drive social, environmental and economic benefits across every part of the UK.’

I was glad to see that the National Procurement Policy Statement (PPN05/21) published in May last year gets a mention too. It requires ‘buyers to have regard to the Government’s strategic priorities for public procurement’.

For anyone who doesn’t have the paper committed to memory, these strategic priorities are:

  • creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills
  • tackling climate change and reducing waste
  • improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience

This is good news for those who see that social value included within procurement can and does transform the public sector supply chain for the better.

I was pleased to hear the speech issuing a clear call to action for the social value movement in the UK. But we must acknowledge that ‘a simpler and more transparent system’ and reducing red tape, especially for smaller businesses and voluntary organisations, will be our biggest challenge to ensure we deliver real and sustainable good to our communities.

No need to panic right now but nonetheless, it’s important we work together and solve a particularly thorny conundrum. The path is clear, even if there are still a few brambles to clear on the way.

Read more about social value in public sector procurement

14122

Social value people: Michelle McCann of NHS London Procurement Partnership

Part of our 'Social value people' series. For our inaugural edition, we sat down with Michelle McCann, Executive Director of Sustainability and Social Value at NHS London Procurement Partnership.

Read More
13951

NEPO301: Winner of the Best Public Sector Project 2022

NEPO301 won the 2022 awards for Best Public Sector Project at the National Social Value Awards. Read more about how they tackled the notoriously difficult task of applying social value frameworks to the energy sector, and worked with EDF to make a real difference in the North East

Read More
13987

Essex County Council: Winner of the Best Public Sector Leadership Award 2022

Read about how Essex County Council created a custom National TOMs, and proceeded to create hundreds of jobs in local communities.

Read More
13713

NHS social value guidance, now in

From 1 April, NHS organisations will be required to adhere to new net zero and social value guidelines. How does this affect you? Nathan Goode, our Chief Strategy Officer, talks you through how procurers and suppliers can prepare for a new chapter for the NHS.

Read More