The Government has announced a package of measures aimed at rebuilding trust after the collapse of outsourcing construction company Carillion earlier this year.
It will extend the requirements of the Social Value Act to ensure that all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value where appropriate, rather than just ‘consider’ it.
This will promote 'a healthy and diverse marketplace of companies bidding for government contracts.'
Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said contracts would be awarded on the basis of more than value for money and 'level the playing field for mutuals, co-operatives and social enterprises bidding to win government contracts.'
The Government will also use its £200bn a year purchasing power to 'challenge major suppliers to do better on equality and diversity.'
Mr Lidington said: 'We want to see public services delivered with values at their heart, where the wider social benefits matter and are recognised.
'That means government doing more to create and nurture vibrant, healthy, innovative, competitive and diverse marketplaces of suppliers that include and encourage small businesses, mutuals, charities, co-operatives and social enterprises - and therefore harness the finest talent from across the public, private and voluntary sectors.'