The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 was first presented to Parliament a decade ago, enshrining in law the duty of public sector commissioning to pay regard to economic, social and environmental wellbeing when making procurement decisions. In this time, the incorporation of a social value element into the assessment of public sector contracts has transitioned from a campaigning concern to a statutory requirement and finally to a universally recognised consideration in public sector commercialism.

With ubiquity, however, there is always the risk of complacency. Brighten All Corners is a timely examination of local implementation of the Act with recommendations for a deeper, more meaningful role for social value led procurement in raising local prosperity. Through a series of interviews, roundtable discussions and open survey exercises, the report highlights several issues with the Social Value Act in practice. The crux of these issues is a need for a degree of standardisation, carefully combined with a built-in consideration of local context. We propose a new model of Community Value Charters to meet these challenges.


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