Ministry of Defence Social Value Centre of Expertise Accelerator Programme, UK

Adding social value to government procurement

In September 2020, the UK government published a note setting out how to take account of social value when awarding central government contracts, with the aim of increasing positive outcomes in areas such as equal opportunities, wellbeing and fighting climate change in public procurement. To address this, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) needed to act on this guidance in 50 percent of its contracts, worth some £9bn each year.

Key information

Bristol, UK
Date started:
Completion date:
Client type:
Main services:
Advisory (incl. sustainability), cost and commercial management, expert opinion, programme strategy and set-up, digital

Understanding the challenge

The MoD wanted to establish a social value centre of expertise which could be a focal point for the multiple different budget holders and procurement agencies that it controls.

Its ambitious target of ultimately having 10 percent of its tender value related to social value required deepening teams’ understanding of what social value is, while managing a large volume of procurement every year.

Centre of expertise

The MoD established a project to accelerate the set-up of the centre of expertise by providing better reporting of ongoing contracts which would be required to include social value, preparing training and guidance notes, developing a social value maturity model to measure success against, and completing an audit on its progress so far. This can be measured against the government’s five tools to improve social value: COVID-19 recovery, wellbeing, fighting climate change, economic equality and equal opportunity.

These measures have helped the MoD streamline its interactions with customers to provide self-help in the first instance, followed by dedicated user support. This has led to a greater focus on improving the outcomes rather than ‘firefighting’ when issues arise.

Cross-business consulting

We were able to provide a ‘one stop shop’ team, including project management, management consulting (provided by Suiko), sustainability and digital advice, which provided better transparency to the MoD on how it was complying with the public procurement regulations note.

For further information contact:

Richard Lyle
Director, UK