Government announces action on social value: the impact for FMs


  • Policy

16 August 2018


This article was first published by the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) which became the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) on 12 November 2018.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published its new Civil Society Strategy, Building A Future That Works For Everyone, a comprehensive vision for how Government will work with businesses and communities to create a fairer, stronger society.

BIFM welcomes many of the initiatives outlined in the strategy, particularly those relating to social value in procurement. We were pleased to see that many of the recommendations we submitted to the DCMS’s Civil Society consultation were taken on board.

Of particular interest for FMs is the Government’s aim of making greater use of social value in its supply chain and of designing a framework for better measuring social value. BIFM looks forward to working with the Government and social enterprise platforms to develop these initiatives.

Social value is an increasingly important part of FM contract procurement and performance and is an opportunity to outline the value a service provider can deliver. BIFM is leading work on this subject supported by our Sustainability SIG and an FM Leaders’ Forum Discussion Paper outlining the barriers and opportunities in this area.

BIFM’s Procurement Conference on 11th September will also be discussing social value as well as other aspects of contract management best practice. 

Summary of the key points and initiatives in the Civil Society Strategy relating to FM:

- Civil society refers to individuals and organisations acting with the primary purpose of creating social value, independent of state control. Social value means enriched lives and a fairer society for all

- Social Value Act: this is currently seen as a tick box exercise, there needs to be increase in social value commissioning across all levels of government on goods, works and services. DCMS will lead by applying this to major projects. Government will explore applying social value to other areas of public decision-making such as planning and community asset transfer

- Government will work with partners to design a framework for measuring social value. The DCMS will publish a guide on selling to government, incorporating social value. BIFM is taking steps in this direction already.

- Government is to consult on the impact of national pay deals on locally provided services outside formal national arrangements

- The commissioning of public services is currently based on a transactional model of service delivery favouring large companies, the government’s vision is of collaborative commissioning

- The Cabinet Office is to include social enterprise in the Strategic Supplier Group

- Flexible contracting: central government commercial buyers will undertake training on how to take account of social value in commissioning and procurement, public authorities will be encouraged to support the development of commissioning skills

- The Crown Representative will run an awareness campaign to encourage use of Contracts Finder and Mystery Shopper services

If you have any comments on the role of social value in FM please email: