Government uses Social Enterprise Mark criteria in contract

Government uses Social Enterprise Mark criteria in contract
Civil Society

A new government and European Union contract seeking to increase social enterprise involvement in a £275m programme uses the Social Enterprise Mark Company criteria to define what a social enterprise is.

The Ministry of Justice wants to improve the ability of social enteprises to participate in the delivery of the £275m National Offenders Management Service (NOMS) Co-Financing (CFO) programme, which is providing support to 110,000 offenders. 

As part of the delivery requirement for the NOMS CFO programme, which has a prime and consortia contractor model, each prime provider must have a social enterprise element. However, the current CFO contracts, worth £89m in total, have 419 subcontractors/partners, of which only 36 (8.5 per cent) are currently identified as social enterprises by the Ministry of Justice.

In a bid to redress the balance, the MoJ has now launched the ‘NOMS CFO Social Enterprise Programme’ – a programme of work that aims to improve the ability of social enterprises to take part in delivery of the NOMS CFO programme.
The tender document for the programme says its objective is to create new social enterprise consortia models, and that potential consortia must be able to evidence that social enterprises involved meet the criteria required to achieve the Social Enterprise Mark, though having the Mark itself is not a requirement.

The Social Enterprise Mark’s criteria include the requirements that a company earns at least 50 per cent of its income from trading, and spends at least 50 per cent of its profits on socially-beneficial purposes.

The Social Enterprise Mark has recently been internationally registered as a Community Trade Mark in the European Union , while work to register the Mark is ongoing in the USA, Australia, India, Canada and South Africa.
The NOMS CFO Programme is supported by the European Union’s European Social Fund and the Ministry of Justice.