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Departmental Responsibilities

Health written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure social value is included when services are commissioned by (a) his Department and (b) its public bodies; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

In line with United Kingdom public procurement policy, the Department and its arm's length bodies' procurement policy is to award contracts on the basis of value for money, which means the optimum combination of cost and quality over the lifetime of the project. Public sector procurers are required to assess value for money from the perspective of the contracting authority using criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract, including compliance with the published specification.

Wider socio-economic benefits that do not accrue to the contracting authority cannot be taken into account at tender evaluation stage if they do not relate to the subject matter of a contract from the point of view of the contracting authority.

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