• Lead Member Oxford City Council
  • Year 2022
  • Type Prototype

About the project

Local authorities and other public sector bodies are increasingly using Themes Outcomes Measures frameworks (TOMs) as a standardised and easily understood way to assess the relative social value of different bids when procuring goods or services. Many are based on the National TOMs framework – https://socialvalueportal.com/solutions/national-toms/. Although this brings great potential to scale up social value delivery, the National TOMs framework lacks any emphasis on the values inherent in democratic businesses and the cooperative sector. The growing use of these frameworks is therefore unlikely to directly impact on the growth of local cooperative economies.

This project would develop a prototype social value measurement framework to sit alongside the national TOMs model, putting explicit emphasis on values that are inherent in cooperative and other democratic businesses – e.g. equity, equality, self- help, self-responsibility, solidarity, etc. It is intended that this would supplement national or local frameworks, potentially as a distinct theme, with a set of associated outcomes and measures. This would provide CCIN member councils and other interested organisations with a set of social value measures which could be included in all tenders. If done effectively and used widely, this has the potential to support the growth of cooperative businesses in an area, through increasing the opportunities for organisations who inherently embody these values to provide goods and services to local anchor organisations.

It is hoped that the framework becomes used by local authorities in their procurement processes, ultimately leading to a measurable increase in local spending on goods and services from cooperative and democratic businesses. The prototype will therefore be successful if it is later adapted and used by local authorities or other anchor organisations for assessing relative social value contributions in tenders.

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