A report on Bristol City Council’s progress in instilling social value into its commissioning and procurement processes suggests that the City is on track to meeting its targets.
These targets, as set out in the Social Value Policy which was adopted by the Council in April 2016, all contribute to the overarching commitment to ensuring that local economic, social and environmental well-being is taken into consideration when procuring local services.
The implementation and impact of the Policy has been monitored by a cross-sector advisory group, of which Voscur is part. Over the past year we have advocated on behalf of the voluntary and community sector organisations that, along with small businesses are considered ‘priority organisations’, and have worked to support the implementation of the policy in ways that proactively include smaller VCS organisations. Voscur believes that Bristol’s VCS organisations already deliver much social value and, therefore, that describing social value in tenders should help them to win public service contracts.
The policy’s target of 25% of the council’s ‘procurement spend’ (that is, the contracts to suppliers and providers) going to priority organisations has been exceeded: 37% achieved in the first half of 2017/18.
Mark Hubbard, Head of Collaboration and Commissioning at Voscur, says: “We are in full support of the policy and welcome the council’s approach to including smaller providers. At yesterday’s Resources Scrutiny Commission, we were pleased that councillors agreed with our request for a breakdown of the contracts by different types of priority organisations. We want to make sure that the smaller end of the provider market feels the benefits of this policy – as we know that small organisations (fewer than 50 employees) deliver crucial services across the city for the most vulnerable people and communities.”