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Departmental Audit

Work and Pensions 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 Work and Pensions 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 Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

As part of the commissioning process, all contracts above £10,000 in value are advertised on Contracts Finder with those suitable for small and medium enterprises and voluntary organisations identified accordingly.

The Department, and its public bodies, consider social value in the initial stages of commissioning services by using sustainable procurement risk assessment methodology (SPRAM).

SPRAM is mandatory for all new contracts and considers the impact of diversity and equality, people with disabilities, the use of supported factories and businesses, the suitability of small and medium enterprises and voluntary organisations and questions whether or not there are unacceptable labour standards in the supply chain.

Where relevant and proportionate, social value factors can be scored as part of the evaluation process during the commissioning phase. Following contract award, suppliers are asked to complete periodical returns demonstrating how they have implemented those social value aspects of the contract they are delivering.

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