VCSEs: A Guide to work with Government

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Central Government aims to diversify its supply chain now giving VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) organisations much deserved credit for the positive impact they’ve had in society.

VCSE organisations can massively impact public sector procurement as they are often perfectly placed to help create compassionate, responsive, and efficient public services.  This change will affect the way goods and services are purchased, to help VCSEs and SMEs to bid for contracts.

Working in the Public Sector

The best way to place yourself in a strong position to understand areas in which opportunities will be available is to:

  1. Talk to commissioners or get involved in designing services (‘co-design’) before they write the contract specification.
  2. Attend a ‘meet the buyer’ event.
  3. Participate in a bidders’ event.

What are public sector buyers looking for?

Value for money

In the public sector buyers are spending taxpayer’s money.  This means of course they need to deliver the best possible value for money.  Value for money isn’t just the initial price it also considered the quality of the contract.  By demonstrating you have a cost-effective approach will strengthen your application.


Buyers are looking for quality goods and services that meet the needs of end users.

Social value

In recent years there has been a shift in understanding how value for money should be calculated, growing support for the idea that should include social environmental and economical requirements.  This led to the Public Services Act (2012) which began significant steps to understanding and embedding social value in procurement practices.  It marked the first time Public bodies were required to consider how procurement might improve social, environmental, and economic wellbeing.  The act aims to give procurement officials freedom to establish the types of value that will benefit their local community.

For more information on VCSEs and government policy visit their website.

Value Match are experienced public sector procurement professionals, if you require procurement or bidding support contact us today.