“What Works”: iNetwork Innovation Awards 2015
Title: Greater Manchester Social Value Policy
Organisation(s): AGMA Procurement Hub
Author: Peter Schofield
Service area *1*: 830. Procurement Policy
Description of project
To promote a consistent approach to Social Value across GM, an AGMA Task and Finish Group led by Ian Brown (Manchester City Council’s Head of Procurement) worked with ENWORKS to create a social value policy and framework for Greater Manchester.
Work started in March 2014 and the policy, adopted by the GMCA in November 2014, provides:
• An agreed standard definition of social value
• Clarity around the procurement activity that social value should be considered for
• An agreed set of social value objectives which reflect the Greater Manchester Strategy ‘Stronger Together’.
The AGMA Procurement Hub has developed a range tools to support implementation of the policy. This includes e-learning materials for local authority Commissioners and Procurers and a range of case studies to inspire thinking around what is possible. The GM Councils plus Blackpool and Cheshire East are now working with CLES to benchmark current performance to assess the impact of this policy in the future against a set of KPIs. The Team are also raising the profile of the social value policy across GM. These activities not only benefit Greater Manchester, but also align with the recommendations set out in the Public Services (Social Value) Act Review 2015.
What makes this initiative remarkable?
The Greater Manchester Social Value Policy and Framework and implementation activities lay a solid foundation for significant social value to be obtained by AGMA authorities and partners.
AGMA is committed to implementing social value across the public, private and voluntary sectors both within and outside of GM. The policy has also been adopted by AGMA associate members which demonstrates it has relevance outside of the immediate geographical area. Our aim is for the Greater Manchester approach to become an exemplar for good collaborative working.
This piece of work is an excellent demonstration of what can be achieved over very short timescales. The policy and framework are the result of four months of intense work with input from multiple partners, but the improvements this will yield for the local area will be long lasting.
We are very proud of what we have achieved to date. Whilst this award will provide recognition of the work that has taken place across GM to agree a consistent approach to social value and demonstrate to suppliers from all sectors that the Greater Manchester approach is consistent and in line with Best Practice, we are also keen to ensure that the impact is measured to inform future development.
What has the project achieved?
The policy and framework set out six social value objectives which all have a clear strategic link to the GM Strategy:
1. Promote employment & economic sustainability
2. Raise the living standards of local residents
3. Promote participation and citizen engagement
4. Build the capacity & sustainability of the VCS
5. Promote equity and fairness
6. Promote environmental sustainability
• The Policy includes a standard definition of Social Value to provide consistency and clarity for commissioners, procurers and suppliers
• The Policy incorporates practical advice and suggestions for how Social Value outcomes can be incorporated into procurement approaches
• Development and implementation of the policy was achieved between April and November 2014 which signifies that Social Value is a priority across GM practitioners and leaders
• The e-learning module ensures that all AGMA Authorities will introduce the concept of Social Value to commissioners and budget holders in a consistent and non-jargonistic way
• The growing body of Case Studies demonstrates that there is a strong commitment to Social Value and placing them all in a single place provides a valuable resource for procurers to draw upon.