A new social procurement strategy that takes into account the social benefits offered by charities bidding for contracts is being trialled by Camden Council in north London.
The strategy, developed in partnership with think tank the New Economics Foundation, offers bidders for contracts more flexibility when explaining how they will meet council targets.
The system also allows bidders to show how they would meet other important council targets that do not directly relate to the service being procured.
"This system works particularly well for the third sector because it allows it to express more fully the value it brings," said Miia Chambers, social investment manager at the council.
The system has already been used to procure two adult social care projects worth about £5.5m, and is being used for a larger contract worth about £25m.