Issue - meetings

Socially Responsible Procurement Policy

Meeting: 29/11/2022 - Cabinet (Item 113)

113 Socially Responsible Procurement Policy

*                 Report of the Chief Executive


Supporting documents:


Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management and Strategic Planning presented a report detailing proposals to support the introduction and adoption of a Socially Responsible Procurement Policy in the Council’s procurement process.


Cllr Botterill explained that the Policy is in response to the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 which came into force on 31 January 2013 and requires public authorities to have regard to economic, social, and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts; and for connected purposes. It was noted that consideration of the Act is embedded in the Council’s procurement and commissioning processes and the Policy enabled the Council to adopt a formal approach to social value. The report indicated that the Policy aimed to provide an overarching framework and unified approach and identified five priorities that represented the Council’s values and beliefs. This would ensure the Council maximises the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being that it delivers through its procurement activity.


Cllr Ian Thorn welcomed the initiative and commented on the following:


·       Referenced a recent discussion by Cabinet on procurement process for a New Term Highways contract and asked how the objectives of the Policy were factored into the Council’s ambitions and impacting decisions made. In response, officers described the processes leading to discussions on these matters and the use of toolkits suitable to the procurement situation which led to appropriate decisions based on the category of spend.

·       A concern that the new approach would lend itself towards favouring larger organisations, with local and smaller organisation unable to bid for contracts due to their inability to demonstrate ethical procurement impacts. In response, officers referred to the Wiltshire first approach detailed in the appendix to the report and the prioritisation of local organisations.

·       Referred to the five priorities and how they would be employed during the procurement process. In response, the Leader and officers confirmed that all the priorities held equal importance and how they were employed would depend on the type of contract being considered.


Cllr Graham Wright, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee reported that the Management Committee considered the draft Policy at its meeting on 15th November 2022 and supported the introduction of a Policy to help drive social value into the council’s procurement activities.  The Management Committee pointed out that there was no information within the policy to specifically outline benefits, timescales, requirements, how the council would buy better or how the potential impact would be measured. There was also some concern raised that the policy might limit the choice of who the Council could outsource to if the policy was over-prescriptive. Given this, the Committee resolved to receive a further item on implementation of the Policy in the New Year, specifically looking at how the impacts of the Policy will be measured and evaluated and the Socially Responsible Procurement Toolkits.


Cllr Dr Brian Mathew commented on the time difference between the Act coming into force and the adoption of the Policy. In response, Cllr Botterill confirmed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113