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The Institute for Public Policy Research said Whitehall was failing to maximise the impact of its financial clout despite a procurement budget worth 14% of the economy’s annual output and 36% of total government spending. It says the government should use the leverage from the near £300bn a year it spends on goods and services to ensure businesses behave responsibly and improve working conditions.  All the main parties in the general election are proposing to boost spending on public infrastructure projects, such as railways, hospitals and schools, and the IPPR said the standards used to decide which companies won contracts could have a powerful effect in supporting and encouraging good behaviour among businesses. Read in full, including the changes it suggests to the 2012 Social Value Act, on The Guardian.

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