One Step Closer to Social Value Act in Northern Ireland
A Social Value Act was passed in England and Wales in 2012 making it a requirement for all public bodies to consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of their area.
The Act does not apply within a Northern Ireland context, however consideration of social value has become a growing area of discussion and debate locally. In recent years, we have seen some positive developments and benefits associated with social clauses addressing issues such as long-term unemployment.
Whilst this may be a step in the right direction, a lot more needs to be done if we are to effect real long-term change in addressing the multitude of social issues facing our communities. Bryson Charitable Group have been working closely with Social Enterprise NI to lobby the government to make real commitment to ensuring social benefits can be derived from all public contracts of procurement.
Stewart Dickinson, the Chair of the all Party Group on Social Enterprise met with the Finance Minister Martin Ó Muilleoir to discuss the taking forward of a NI Bill. The Finance Minister confirmed his support recognising this will deliver for people across Northern Ireland.