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Procurement advice breakthrough

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Procurement advice from councils already working with social enterprises is being made available for others considering taking the plunge.

Membership body the Social Return On Investment Network launched to help commissioners get the most from the third sector.

The resource contains detailed case studies and lessons learned from East Sussex and Worcestershire county councils among others.

The Social Value Act came into force on 31 January 2013 requiring commissioners to consider the social, environmental and community benefits when appointing suppliers.

But one in five people responsible for state procurement had not taken steps to use the act, according to a survey earlier this year.

SROI Network said that for many commissioners, examples from others was a key step to beginning the process.

The site allows users to search by commissioning cycle stages such as planning or review, as well as by who is leading the commissioning process.

The website is free to use and hopes to encourage the sharing of best practice.

East Sussex CC and the local NHS set out to invest up to £9m in the voluntary sector over three years to allow it to deliver services in local communities.

The council case study states: “It was apparent that ‘social capital’ meant different things to different people. In order to make it meaningful, therefore, examples of social capital were developed in the Innovations Learning Network and tested at one of the Meet the Commissioners events.”

You can read the full case study here.

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