Friday, 1 February 2013

Social Value Act

If only procurement actually took account of the broader social impact when decisions are made!

Well, at least from this week councils and CCGs, as well as other public bodies, now have to implement the Social Value Act- it came live yesterday.

I was at a meeting in the Commons with Chris White MP, father of this Act, to celebrate the new Act but crucially to discuss how we ensure it is implemented.

We talked about how to make the new Act stick. There was a lot of discussion about information and encouragement; which we must do, but I suspect what will drive change is legal challenge. So we will be keeping an eye out for bad procurements that fail to take account of social value. We will be encouraging members to alert us to bad practise.

And Peter Holbrook (SEUK) and I are writing to Monitor and the NHS Commissioning Board to ask how they will ensure the health service will implement the Act in the new CCG structures.

ACEVO has been surveying members as part of our 3 year strategy review. It’s always fascinating to get feedback and our members have not been slow with their opinions. Some challenging (one accused me of being a nasty leftie, which makes a change from been denounced as an arch privatiser) and frankly surprising if not , but the vast majority of responses so far has been to endorse our stance and tone as we promote the sector, work with Government and criticise when needed. But survey not finished. If you are a member feel free to join in the debate. Tell me what you think. We have even asked non-members. We report to our Board at end of February.

And now I'm packing my bags. No, not fleeing the Charity Commission after my trenchant comments, but off for a long weekend in Istanbul. A great city. I intend to have a long soak in a Turkish bath and have a proper full on shave and haircut. I shall return looking pink and refreshed!

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