Challenges to Embedding Social Value Act 2012 in the Strategic and Operational Processes of Public Sector Construction Projects

Thurairajah, Niraj, Muchena, Joan and Xiao, Hong (2019) Challenges to Embedding Social Value Act 2012 in the Strategic and Operational Processes of Public Sector Construction Projects. In: ARCOM 2019 - Productivity, Performance and Quality Conundrum, 2nd - 4th September 2019, Leeds, UK.

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Abstract

This research focuses on the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, which came
into force in January of 2013. The Act appears to challenge the traditional perception of value and proposes to one that encompasses social, environmental and economic benefits to the communities these businesses operate. The Act has received some criticisms for being a soft touch as it essentially asks commissioners to ‘consider’ embedding the Act when making their procurement decisions and this flexibility has been attributed to the lack of its uptake by some Local Authorities. However anecdotal evidence suggests that some of these issues are stemming from strategic and operational processes with regards to how it is implemented in everyday practices. Therefore, this research seeks to investigate how the Social Value Act
(2012) has been embedded into the strategic, operational and technical aspects of public sector construction projects. An explanatory case study approach, consisting of three case studies, specifically focusing on the Act’s applicability within a construction context, was used in this research. Facts and perceptions were collected from Local Authority policy documents and from senior managers representing four Local Authorities. Furthermore, a contractor’s perspective was also obtained from a specialist Social Value delivery consultant associated with one of the selected Local Authorities. Findings show that Local Authorities at the heart of this Act have welcomed the way in which it is not prescriptive. The flexibility of the Act was perceived to be an incentive and allows them to use the Act not just for procurement but other Local Authority functions. However, the Act is still surrounded by confusion with regard to specifications on delivery and this could be attributed to the lack of clarity on measuring Social Value outcomes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Value Act, public services, policy, local authorities, procurement
Subjects: K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
L400 Social Policy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2019 15:07
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 15:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/41088

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