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Social Value at Essex County Council

Background

The Public Services Social Value Act 2012 requires public authorities to consider how all proposed procurements might improve the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement.

Public authorities consider the wider financial and nonfinancial value created by an organisation through its day-to-day activities in the delivery of their contracts and express it in terms of the wellbeing generated for individuals, communities, the economy and the environment. 

Social Value approach and Essex County Council TOMs 

In accordance with the Essex County Council Social Value Policy, the potential economic, social, and environmental improvements for this requirement have been considered during the pre-procurement stage of this project and have resulted in a decision to evaluate Social Value as part of this procurement exercise.

Like many Councils across the country, Essex County Council has adopted the Local Government Association 'National Social Value Taskforce National Themes, Outcomes and Measures' (‘National TOMs’) method of classifying and evaluating Social Value, and adapted to the County’s context and priorities, based on the ECC Corporate Strategy 'Everyone's Essex'. Social Value has been given a % weighting of the quality component of the overall tender evaluation.

This approach comprises:

  • A set of social value 'Themes and Outcomes':
    • This is a list of different types of social value. Please open the tab below for a summary of ECC TOMs Themes and Outcomes
  • A set of Units of Measure for each of the Outcomes:
    • These Units of Measure are used to compare bids on a like for like basis. They are set out as a description (the Measure) and a metric (the Unit).
    • They also enable us to collate the total benefits delivered by vendors to Essex communities and provide a consistent method of performance management reporting.
  • A set of Financial Proxies:
    • Each Unit of Measure is assigned a financial value. This enables us to calculate the total economic value of contributions that organisations offer.

 

Scoring and Evaluation process

The Social Value criteria is evaluated in two parts, which, when combined, result in one overall Social Value score:

Part A: Value Score (ECC TOMS Social Value Calculator)

Part B: Social Value Supporting Statement

The overall Social Value score shall be calculated as follows:

Here is a video explaining ECC approach to Social Value, ECC Themes, Outcomes and Measures ( ECC TOM) and the scoring and evaluation process. Click here to watch the 19-minute video

 

The full matrix of ECC TOMs is set out in the ECC TOMs Social Value Calculator or Construction projects in the ECC TOMs Social Value Calculator for Construction, including the Measures, Units and Financial Proxies.

The full set of Essex County Council Themes and Outcomes are shown below

Essex County Council

4 Themes

Essex County Council

8 Outcomes

 

A Strong, Inclusive and Sustainable Economy

Essex residents in employment, skills gaps reduced and barriers to employment reduced for disadvantaged groups

Business growth and the impact of public sector spend within the county maximised

 

A Good Place for Children and Families to Grow

Outcomes improved for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups

Businesses and communities support the achievement of education outcomes

Our partners to help make our communities safer and address key issues such as violence and vulnerability, and safety for women and girls

 

Health, Wellbeing and Independence for all Ages

Residents enabled to live independently and increased proportion of people able to live healthy lifestyles

Partners and communities address the socio-economic drivers that underpin poor health outcomes, such as poor housing, poverty, economic insecurity and low skills

 

A high quality environment

Suppliers contribute to the delivery of net zero targets; reduced greenhouse gases; reduced waste; and strengthened climate resilience

 

At Essex County Council (ECC), our Social Value priorities are environment, employment, skills, and youth. It is not about asking our suppliers to spend money to help us achieve our social value outcomes, instead ECC is asking our suppliers to consider how, through the way they deliver our contract, they can deliver social value. Suppliers can do this in a way that fits with their organisation and the contract they are bidding for.

Essex County Council has adopted the Local Government Association’s National Social Value Taskforce National Themes, Outcomes and Measures’ (‘National TOMs’) method of classifying and evaluating Social Value, adapted to the County’s context and priorities, based on the ECC Corporate Strategy 'Everyone's Essex'. Social Value has been given a % weighting of the quality component of the overall tender evaluation. This approach comprises:

  1. A set of Social Value 'Themes’ and ‘Outcomes' (a list of different types of social value).
  2. A set of ‘Units’ that apply to the ‘Measures’ for each of the Outcomes, used to compare tenders on a like for like basis. A description is provided in respect of each unit and measure.
  3. A set of financial ‘Proxy values’: each unit offered is assigned a proxy value. This enables the Authority to calculate the total value to the Authority of contributions offered by bidders.

Evaluation and Scoring 

The Social Value criteria is evaluated in two parts, which, when combined, result in one overall Social Value score:

  • Part A: Value Score (ECC TOMS Social Value Calculator)
  • Part B: Social Value Supporting Statement

These two parts combined are known as the “Social Value Plan” and will form part of the Contractor Proposals.

 

Part A: Value Score (ECC TOMS Social Value Calculator)

ECC TOMs Social Value Calculator (the ‘Calculator’)

Bidders are required to complete and submit the Calculator.

Where bidders are applying for multiple lots, a separate Calculator is required for each lot. Bidders must ensure commitments made are directly related to the provision of Services for the specific lot on which they are bidding.

There are two tabs within the Calculator that need to be populated. When completing the ECC TOMs tab of the Calculator, bidders should adhere to the following:

  1. Bidders should indicate the Social Value commitments to be delivered through the contract period.
  2. Bidders shall complete cells I4 and I5 of the ECC TOMs tab of the Calculator.
  3. Bidders should study each ‘Measure’ in the Calculator and ‘Units’ descriptor carefully. If you need to clarify your understanding of any of the measures, please refer to the ‘Definitions and Guidance’ tab or raise any clarification questions via the messaging facility within the e-sourcing portal (ProContract) as detailed in the ‘General Instructions and Guidance’ in this document.
  4. Enter a number of ‘Units’ (in column I) offered against the applicable measure or measures in the Calculator that you commit to deliver throughout the evaluation period should you be successful. This will automatically calculate the ‘Total value’ (in column J) and in turn the ‘Total Social Value Bid’ in cell [J39] using the following formula:

               Total value = Units offered x Proxy value

               Total Social Value Bid = ∑ column J ‘Total value’

Note – please check the units description carefully to ensure you are entering the correct amount – e.g., ECC9 for training opportunities, the unit is the number of weeks of training, NOT the number of people to be trained.

  1. Bidders must not double count (with the exception of ECC1 where included; it is noted in the Calculator that the measure ECC1 is ‘additional to’ other specified employment measures). On all other measures, an individual commitment must only be entered against one measure in the Calculator e.g., expenditure with local SMEs (ECC12) cannot also be recorded under expenditure with local suppliers (ECC11). In addition, bidders must not offer measures that will be delivered as part of compliance with Schedule 1 - Part 1 Services Specification.
  2. Bidders shall include only Social Value that will have a local impact (within the boundaries of Essex County Council, defined by the Essex Highways Interactive Map – Essex Open Data). Any Social Value offer that does not deliver benefits to the “local” area will not be evaluated and will be excluded.
  3. All Social Value commitments made in your offer must be attributable to the performance of this contract only (i.e., not the total number of local staff working in your whole organisation). You can expand an existing project / initiative / scheme, but your offer must reflect what is enabled by or directly attributable to the delivery of this contract.
  4. Partial contributions must be identified – where only a percentage of the benefit will be received through this contract, only a percentage of the value should be recorded in column I expressed as a decimal, e.g.: ‘0.5’ for a 50% offer.  Where this is applicable, brief explanations should be included in the ‘Comments’ column L of the Calculator. For example, where a member of staff will work on this contract for 50% of their time, only 0.5 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) can be applied. 
  5. No amendments are permitted to cells in the Calculator save for those marked in green.
  6. Bidders may enter brief comments where necessary in column L pertaining to the response; these are for information only and will not be included in the evaluation of the Supporting Statement. A breakdown of commitments and detail of how the measures will be achieved should be included in the Supporting Statement.
  7. Bidders shall confirm in column M, in the green cells, if they agree, or not, for their commitments (in units) against each relevant measure to be published in the Essex Social Value Community Exchange report.

Essex Social Value Community Exchange

Some measures within the Calculator must be delivered through engagement with a local third party for example careers advice with schools and colleges or support offered to charities. These ‘community focused’ measures are highlighted in the Calculator.

To assist suppliers in implementing such community-focused social value commitments, the Authority has set up a ‘Social Value Community Exchange’ page in its Social Value Catalogue. Where bidders grant permission in the Calculator ‘Social Value Community Exchange’ tab, a copy of the winning bidder(s) community-focused commitments from their completed Calculator and the associated bidder contact information will be published online in the Social Value Catalogue. The Authority will inform Essex schools, colleges, universities, and charities who are able to access the ‘Social Value Community Exchange’ so they can review the successful bidder’s commitments and, if suitable for their organisation, make contact directly with the successful bidder.

When completing the Social Value Community Exchange tab of the Calculator, bidders should note the following:

If bidders have not already established relationships with the community (e.g. schools, colleges, or community groups) to deliver Social Value in Essex such as careers advice, or expert advice to voluntary, community or social enterprises, the Authority can publicise the Bidder’s offer on its website to help make contact with appropriate parties.

Therefore, for any community engagement-focused commitments (where indicated in the Calculator e.g., ECC 19 – Local school and college visits):

  1. Bidders should confirm if they would like the requirement to be published on the Social Value Catalogue Community Exchange Page via the appropriate responses in the ‘Social Value Community Exchange’ tab of the Calculator to help raise awareness of the pledge to potential beneficiaries. Responsibility for the delivery of Social Value commitments remains with the Contractor.
  2. Bidders should provide a contact email address that can be published on the Social Value Catalogue Community Exchange Page for potential beneficiaries to use to contact your organisation (e.g. receive contact from staff from schools, colleges, universities, and charities). This is a public website, so we recommend that you consider providing a generic, dedicated inbox managed by the Social Value Contact (e.g., ‘SV@organisation.co.uk).

Additional instructions

  1. Bidders do not need to make an offer against all the Social Value measures set out in The Calculator.
  2. Social Value commitments entered into the Calculator will form part of the contract, with the winning bidder’s Calculator and Social Value Supporting Statement included to form the Social Value Plan, which will be monitored as a Performance Measure.
  3. Failure to deliver the Social Value commitments in the tender will be treated as poor performance of the requirements in the contract and will be subject to an Action Plan to ensure delivery is rectified.
  4. Bidders shall consider their ability to measure and report on the commitments before submitting their bid as Schedule 1 - Part 1 Services Specification sets Social Value reporting requirements during the contract Term.

How the Value Score is calculated

  1. The Value Score is an assessment of the ‘Total Social Value Bid’ as displayed in the ECC TOMs tab of the Calculator.
  2. Next, the Social Value Ratio is calculated to establish the Social Value offered relative to the bidder’s ‘Tendered Price’ in their Commercial Response.

       The Social Value Ratio = Total Social Value Bid ÷ Bidder’s Tendered Price

  1. Next, the Total Social Value Ratio is scored using the applicable Evaluation Table SV1 to establish the relevant Value Score which is allocated by comparing the Total Social Value Ratio to the Social Value Target.
  2. The Social Value Target is to achieve 25p of Social Value for every £1 spend: 

Table SV1: Social Value Ratio Evaluation

Part B: Social Value Supporting Statement

Bidders are required to prepare and submit a Social Value Supporting Statement (the ‘Supporting Statement’) and upload to the e-sourcing portal (ProContract).

A Supporting Statement shall be produced and submitted per lot. Commitments made through the Supporting Statement should be lot specific. A separate Supporting Statement is required for each lot bid.  

The Supporting Statement:

  • Must relate to The Calculator submission. It must [for each specific lot] include the rationale for Social Value commitments (the ‘Units’ bid against the Measures).
  • Must provide detail on how the Social Value commitments for each Measure will be delivered within the boundaries of Essex County Council.
  • Will form part of the contract; with the successful Bidder’s Calculator and Supporting Statement submission forming part of the Social Value Plan which is included as a Management Indicator.

Bidders shall:

Provide a Supporting Statement addressing the following requirements (the ‘Social Value Requirements’) that will be used to deliver the Social Value offered, as follows:

1. For each Measure where Units are committed, provide a clear description including relevant evidence regarding competence, capacity, and ability to deliver the following:

  1. how the Measure will apply directly to this Contract and be delivered within the geographical boundaries of Essex County Council (any Social Value offer that does not provide benefits to the “local” area will be excluded);
  2. the rationale for the Units offered against the Measure(s);
  3. how the successful Bidder will monitor and assure the quality and delivery of the commitment and its impacts;

2. Include an implementation plan, outlining for each measure:

  1. preparation, including any research and development required;
  2. phased delivery;
  3. milestones;
  4. deliverables

Social Value Supporting Statement Requirements

Each response is to be submitted, in full, with all figures and tables appropriately referenced.

Responses submitted should meet the following criteria:

  • use A4 format using Arial font size 11
  • contain no more than the stated page limit excluding the cover page
  • the cover page must show:
    • the title i.e., Social Value Supporting Statement
    • the name and logo (or identifying mark) of the Bidder, and
    • the date of the document
  • Bidders should submit each response by attaching to the appropriate question in the e-sourcing portal (ProContract).

 How the Supporting Statement is Evaluated

The Supporting Statement shall be scored according to Evaluation Table SV2 below to derive the Supporting Statement Score:

Table SV2: Social Value Supporting Statement Evaluation

Calculation of the overall Social Value score

The overall Social Value score shall be calculated as follows:

A Worked Example of a Social Value Evaluation can be found here

If you are a current supplier to Essex County Council, you may already be contributing social value. If so, we'd like to hear about it - please use the ECC TOMs to calculate your existing social value and contact us at social.value@essex.gov.uk .

We are providing links to external resources to aid general knowledge development only; these links do not imply endorsement of particular products, services or organisations. When bidding for ECC contracts always read the tender documents provided and follow the instructions carefully. 

It is important to note that Social Value commitments form part of the contract, with the winning bidder’s ECC TOM’s Calculator and Supporting Statement included in Performance Monitoring.

Non-delivery of the Social Value commitments in the tender will be treated as non-performance of the requirements in the contract.

Bidders should consider the ability to measure and report on the commitments before submitting a bid.

Winning bidder(s) will be expected to complete the ECC Social Value Quarterly Reporting - Delivery survey to report periodically on progress towards fulfilling the contracted Social Value commitments.

The Reporting Schedule aligns to the contracted Performance Monitoring requirements.

The first survey report will be due on the date of the next scheduled reporting period shown in the Social Value Reporting Schedule after contract commencement.

The ECC Social Value Quarterly Reporting - Delivery survey replicates the ECC TOMs Calculator, and suppliers must enter the social value delivered during the latest three-month period against each Measure to which they have made a commitment in their contract.

Social Value Quarterly Reporting Survey link

 

If you have any questions about ECC social value approach or if you need information on this website in a different format, please email social.value@essex.gov.uk . We’d appreciate your feedback too, let us know how we can make this web page better.

 

Last updated: 19/05/2023