23/09/2022

Social Value Policy Positively Impacting People And Environment - Murphy

A new Social Value procurement policy is making a positive difference to people and the environment, Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, has said.

The new policy came into effect on 1st June 2022. It requires that social value makes up at least 10% of the award criteria alongside price and quality. It also mandates that staff working on government contracts are paid at least the Living Wage as set by the Living Wage Foundation. Up to £158million worth of government tenders have been published which include social value as part of the scoring criteria. All government tenders issued since then have included payment of the Living Wage as a condition of contract.

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy along with Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey visited Inch Abbey in Downpatrick where they met idverde and McGrath Contracts Ltd who have recently been awarded the grounds maintenance contract for state care monuments.

Speaking following the visit, Minister Murphy said: "Since the start of June, up to £158million worth of government tenders have been published which include social value in the award criteria alongside price and quality. This helps ensure that government is harnessing its spending power to deliver economic, environmental and wider societal benefits."

"The Social Value policy represents a step change in how we do procurement. I am delighted to see how the private sector has embraced this and how the extensive training programme we put in place has equipped industry to deliver this new approach."
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Commenting on the importance of paying the Living Wage, Minister Murphy added: "As an accredited Living Wage employer the Civil Service is committed to paying civil servants and our agency staff at least the Living Wage. Earlier this month, agreement was reached with contractors to ensure that more than 500 staff providing security and ancillary services will benefit from payment of at least the Living Wage.

"The new Social Value policy also requires companies bidding for government contracts to pay staff working on that contract the Living Wage. In this cost of living crisis it is important that workers are paid the Living Wage. Already we can see the positive impact this policy is having on tackling low pay."

Highlighting how the grounds maintenance contract worth up to £500,000 at 89 state care monuments will help deliver social value, Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey added: "This contract will ensure our historic monuments are maintained to the highest possible standard supporting heritage and tourism while also delivering real meaningful environmental, social and economic benefits.

"I am pleased that my Department has been able to work with colleagues in Department of Finance to award the first contact containing social value clauses. The grounds maintenance contract aims to promote environmental benefits, influence environmental protection and improvement, and work towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

"This contract demonstrates how embedding social value within the public procurement criteria can reward companies for doing the right thing while using our spending power for the common good."


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