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Proposed changes have been announced to boost social value in central government procurement. Cabinet minister David Lidington said central government would now use a new model to evaluate the social impact of its contracts to outsource public services and that the changes would remove barriers for “small businesses and social enterprises” to central government contracts, worth £48bn a year, while “improving skills and employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and increasing equality and diversity in the workforce.” Read more in Civil Society. The Public Service (Social Value) Act came into force in 2013 and it requires commissioners to consider the wider value added to society by each bidder. Changes to that Act were announced earlier this year to require all major procurements to “explicitly evaluate” those benefits. Lidington will announce that by summer 2019, government procurements will be required to take social and economic benefits into account in certain priority areas. These include supporting small businesses, providing employment opportunities for disadvantaged people and reducing harm to the environment. Read the Cabinet Office statement here.

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