Embedding social value in procurement

There is increasing expectation for public procurement to deliver positive outcomes for society and the communities which public bodies serve. This emphasis on social value is not a new concept, and there are international examples of how public procurement can deliver positive social, economic and environmental impacts. Delivering social value through procurement is especially important given the current constraints on public finances, meaning that any additional benefit derived from procurement activity is extremely valuable.

In Wales, the Social Partnership and Public Procurement Act (SPPPA, 2023) places a duty on Welsh public bodies to undertake ‘socially responsible procurement,’ in accordance with the sustainable development principle. This more closely ties public procurement legislation with the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.

To support the implementation of the SPPPA, the Wales Centre for Public Policy was asked to showcase existing good practice in socially responsible procurement. Our report, authored by Professor Jane Lynch of the Centre of Public Value Procurement, Cardiff University Business School, presents seven good practice case studies from a range of organisations in Wales and the UK, from both buyer and supplier perspectives, and which explore aspects of good practice from across the procurement cycle.

The report aims to support procurement and other professionals in their practice, and is accompanied by video interviews to highlight the main findings from each case.