10 December 2018 - Article
The Coalition’s green paper ‘Modernising Commissioning’, published on 8 December, seeks ideas on how to create ‘a level playing field’ for charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations in public service commissioning. The paper addresses, and seeks views on:
- which areas would be most suitable for the charitable sector to function in;
- how to make the public sector areas identified more accessible to organisations within the sector;
- how the sector could encourage the public to get involved in undertaking public service delivery; and
- how commissioners should use social, environmental and economic criteria in their commissioning decisions.
The government has voiced its support for the Public Services (Social Enterprise and Social Value) Bill, a private member’s bill seeking to promote social enterprise. If this is passed into law, the Secretary of State would have to prepare a ‘national social enterprise strategy’ and each local authority a ‘sustainable community strategy’. The relevant public authorities would then be required to consider the economic, social or environmental well-being of the relevant area when entering contracts and throughout the procurement process.
The consultation period for this Green Paper ended on 5 January and the Public Services Reform White Paper is expected later this month.