Social value through procurement set to aid economic recovery

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Public sector procurement is set to play an increasingly crucial role in helping communities to recover from the coronavirus crisis’ social and economic fall-out, according to Fusion21’s annual Procurement Trends research

More than 100 procurement officers, managers and directors – representing the housing, local authority, education, health and blue light sectors – took part in in the third annual Fusion21 Procurement Trends Survey, which ran throughout July 2020.

Findings

The report found that procurement professionals want to use their relationships with contractors and suppliers to secure the kind of social value that will make a real impact on communities.

56% of participants believed social value had become a more important part of their work during the previous 12 months, with the report demonstrating a huge shift in terms of the types of social value being pursued by procurement teams.

69% of professionals who participated in Fusion21’s research believed social value through procurement would be used to generate local economy benefits; this was a sharp rise on 30% who said the same last year.

More than 70% said they would focus on generating skills and employment opportunities – a huge increase on 39% last year.

In 2019, only 11% said their social value activities would deliver health and wellbeing benefits; this year, however, health and wellbeing were being prioritised by nearly a third (30%) of procurement professionals.  

A changed approach to social value

Andrew Gray, member relationship manager at Fusion21, said: “The next 12 months are set to be hugely challenging for public sector organisations and the communities they serve.

“Procurement teams are going to play an important role in making decisions that will lead to the continued delivery of services and create the kind of social value that will make a real difference.

“At Fusion21, we’ve been listening to what is most important to our members, and in response, we’ve changed the way we approach social value to provide a more local offer, allowing our members to choose from a number of options for investing in their communities.”

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