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Burke, C and King A (2015) Generating social value through public sector construction procurement: A study of local authorities and SMEs. In: Raiden, A and Aboagye-Nimo, E (Eds.), Proceedings 31st Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2015, Lincoln, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 387–396.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: social value, public procurement, SME
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-9-0
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/fe73a2cb64b00d5e1830d3412714b5f3.pdf
  • Abstract:
    Difficult economic conditions exert additional pressure on government organisations to achieve more with less. The UK Government has redefined value for money, calling for Public Sector Organisations (PSOs) to practice the principles of sustainable procurement; whereby economic, environmental and social considerations form the selection criteria on tenders for public sector contracts. Support for this new approach has been reinforced by placing a duty of Best Value on Public Procurement Officers (PPOs) and more recently, the introduction of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 (the Act). The research adopts a Grounded Theory (GT) approach, with nine unstructured and semi-structured interviews conducted with four local authorities, three construction Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and two social value practitioners. The findings suggest there is a lack of adoption among procurers of public sector construction contracts, with up to 75% of local authorities not including reference to the Act or social value in their corporate procurement strategies. The SMEs involved in this study are at varied stages of development, with one organisation arguably demonstrating a sophisticated approach to social value. Importantly, the findings suggest that there is a lack of guidance and lack of prominence given to social value in tenders. This paper advances current knowledge in the field by providing a foundation for further research in a new area of study.