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NCVO responds to review of Social Value Act

Responding to the government’s review of the Social Value Act, Sir Stuart Etherington said:

‘This review rightly recognises the potential of the Social Value Act to improve public services and help public bodies tackle the dual pressures of reduced spending budgets and increased demand for the services they commission.

We are pleased to see that the review has adopted several NCVO recommendations, including the need for Government to promote awareness and take-up of the Act and for better measurement tools to help commissioners assess social value in public service contracts. The creation of an impact measurement group, to be led by Inspiring Impact, is especially important as it recognises that voluntary organisations have a key role to play in helping commissioners engage with the Act.

The review also provides much-needed clarification that changes to EU procurement law, which stand to benefit the voluntary sector, will not result in the Act applying to fewer public service contracts, as some had feared.

However, we are disappointed that the review panel has not seized the opportunity to strengthen the Act, for example by requiring commissioners to account for the social value they generate, or accepted our recommendation that statutory guidance be issued to public bodies to help them use the Act to its full potential.

Despite these missed opportunities we welcome the review’s recognition of the Act’s potential and some of the practical steps it recommends to help advance the social value agenda.’



  • Read our full response to the Social Value Act review (PDF, 210KB)
  • Inspiring Impact is a ten year programme led by the voluntary sector. It is managed and delivered by eight organisations, including NCVO.
  • For more information, please contact Paul Winyard (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07812 197116)
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