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Public Procurement in Scotland

The public sector spends over £10bn a year on goods and services across the public sector. This provides an excellent platform to work with the public, private and third sectors to “deliver procurement that improves public services for a prosperous, fairer and more sustainable Scotland.”

Public procurement is a key partner and enabler to deliver Scotland’s economic strategy. We invest in our people, infrastructure and assets in a sustainable way, encourage innovation, and promote inclusive growth

Legislation has re-enforced the principles of the Scottish Model of Procurement. It maintains the ethos of the public procurement reform programme - business friendly, socially responsible procurement that delivers better outcomes for Scotland.

Our public procurement contracts are amongst the most accessible in the world for micro, small and medium size organisations. We are providing opportunities for Scotland’s SMEs and third sector to benefit through public sector business both domestically and in other countries.

Governance and Reporting

There have been a number of changes to the public procurement landscape in Scotland.

Scottish Ministers are required to publish an annual procurement report to Parliament by the end of 2018 following the publication of Public Bodies Annual Procurement Reports, that are due at the end of the 2017-2018 financial year.

The Ministerial Strategic Group - Procurement has been replaced with a by-invitation workshop focussed on the Scottish Ministers Annual Report to Parliament.

The Public Procurement Group (PPG) (formerly the Procurement Reform Delivery (PRDG)) are owners of an annual Workplan for public procurement, that identifies milestones for achievement against each of the strategic objectives of the Scottish Model of Procurement (and capability), underpinning procurement’s overall vision.

The first Workplan was published in 2015. The Workplan is monitored throughout the year, reviewed at its mid-point, reported on and refreshed annually.

Legislative Changes

The EU Procurement Directives aim to ensure that public purchases are made in a fair and transparent manner.  The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 provides a national legislative framework for sustainable public procurement that supports Scotland’s economic growth through improved procurement practice.  In the short term, individual organisations will be required to develop their working practices to align with the legislative and regulatory requirements introduced by the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 and the implementation of the EU Directives.

Statutory guidance and models of best practice have been published to support organisations.

They:

  • help public bodies meet their duty to prepare and publish procurement strategies and annual procurement reports

  • support contracting authorities meet their duty to comply with the sustainable procurement duty in the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

  • help public bodies to exploit the facility to use community benefits

  • help public bodies apply exclusion grounds, selection and award criterion for regulated and EU-regulated procurements

    In the medium term, outputs will be developed to support organisations in embedding sustainability through procurement, improve access for suppliers, increase collaborative working across the sectors, advance the capturing and recording of data and information, and support individuals and organisations to help procurement thrive.