Mears has commissioned think tank Localis to look into how the sector uses social value, alongside publishing our own report on social value for the last 12 months.
A desire to make a positive difference wherever Mears operate has always been at the heart of our business. It was 30 years ago when we were a small maintenance contractor with a single van, and it still is now we have 12,000 employees and a national presence.
Our work brings us into contact with some of the most vulnerable people in society, living in some of our most socially deprived communities. As we grow, so do the opportunities and our sense of responsibility to make a positive difference. That’s why we continue to value and invest in Social Value activity; ensuring that it runs like a thread through everything we do in every part of our business.
The Value of Everything
The research project ‘The Value of Everything’ will attempt to quantify the extent to which the impact of the legislation – intended to increase the wider social, economic and environmental benefits to residents from government spending on goods and services – could be deepened through better practice and more consistent implementation.
Localis have assembled a panel of experts to examine if the nation is maximising government’s annual £284bn procurement spend to deliver the promise of the Social Value Act.
Currently, the legislation only requires that public authorities and other commissioning bodies consider the social value component – a situation which encourages an indirect approach to procurement and nudging those towards innovation in delivery of public services.
The Value of Everything will explore three key areas:
- The impact of the Social Value Act on the commissioning process;
- Pricing the ‘value’ in social value;
- Arguing for a uniform social value model.
Gary Jackson, Mears Director of Customer and Communications commented:
As we launch our social value report on our activities in 2018 it seems the right time to say that the sector has not unleashed the true impact of what social value can achieve when done properly. We support Localis in their call to create a fair, simplified level playing field for social value contributions.
For us, Social Value is about making a POSITIVE difference to enable individuals, and communities where we operate, to flourish and thrive. If we didn’t care about the people and the communities we work with, we would not be able to do our jobs well, and our business wouldn’t survive. Putting Social Value at the heart of our business is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense.
Local Chief Executive, Jonathan Werran, said:
Ultimately, the Social Value Act does not go far enough. It requires no obligation for these benefits to be implemented once the contract is awarded. There is also concern that the flexibility this legislation affords commissioning bodies leads to inconsistency and lack of understanding of how to apply the Act. How seriously do commissioners take social value prices and is this dependent on the model used or identity of the bidder? The Value of Everything will explore whether the Act has had a substantive impact in changing the outcomes of the commissioning process.