Procurement activity: annual report 2018 to 2019

Overview of public procurement activity in Scotland for 2018 to 2019 based on information contained in individual procurement reports prepared by public bodies and other relevant information.


1 A regulated procurement is any procedure carried out by a public body in relation to the award of a proposed contract with an estimated value of £50,000 and above for goods and services and of £2 million and above for works.

2 By ‘public bodies’, we mean all organisations which are subject to public procurement laws. This includes central government, local government, universities and colleges, health bodies and registered social landlords. In line with the 2014 Act, all public bodies with an expected procurement expenditure of £5 million or more in the next financial year are required to produce an annual procurement report. In addition, some public bodies with expected expenditure of less than £5 million in the next financial year produce an annual procurement report as a matter of good practice.

3 Not all of the public bodies which returned a data template completed the template fully by submitting all of the information required. As such, the figures from the annual procurement reports do not necessarily represent the full extent of activity across all 110 public bodies which submitted a report. At present, we are also unable to establish what these 110 public bodies represent as a proportion of the wider Scottish public sector. This is because not all public bodies are required by the legislation to produce an annual procurement report.

4 The spend data on the Hub relates only to spend figures for suppliers that were classed as commercial organisations or as non-trade social care providers, and with whom individual public bodies have spent over £1,000 in aggregate in that year.

5 Data taken from the Scottish Procurement Information Hub for 2018 to 2019 was correct at the date of retrieval (4 March 2020). Data is revalidated regularly and may be subject to change as additional information about suppliers is gained.

6 First, the bulk of the spend data from the Hub referred to in this report relates to spend in Scotland only (i.e. with suppliers in Scotland, based on known postcodes which are obtained from a supplier’s invoice address) unless otherwise stated, while the annual procurement reports cover contracts with all suppliers regardless of location. Second, much (but not all) of the data from the annual procurement reports covers spend on regulated procurements only, while the Hub data is based on accounts payable spend. Last, not all public bodies which submitted an annual procurement report had their spend data published on the Hub, and vice versa. As such, both datasets do not enable a like-for-like comparison.

7 For 99 of the 102 organisations, this figure is excluding VAT.

8 Supply chain and re-spending of wages effects are estimated using the Scottish Government Input-Output model. The model depicts inter-industry relationships within the Scottish economy. Using sectoral data, it shows how output from one industrial sector may become an input to another industrial sector, and allows for derivation of estimates of the impact of public procurement expenditure on economic activity, employment supported, and GDP. For more information, see the Scottish Government website.

9 PCS figures are taken from PCS usage reports for 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019. Figures regarding the proportion of SME employers expressing an interest in or bidding for public contracts are from the Small Business Survey Scotland: 2018. SDP figures are largely taken from the SDP annual report for 2018 to 2019.

10 As a reminder, where the Hub data refers to ‘spend in Scotland’, by this we mean Scottish public body procurement spend with suppliers in Scotland (where postcode is known).

11 Supplier number information is based on clustered groupings of a combination of supplier name, address or classification information, not the legal entity for each supplier. As such, these figures are estimates only.

12 Where information is taken from the Hub, note that supplier size is based only on number of employees where known, and an SME is defined as a supplier with less than 250 employees.

13 Where information is taken from the annual procurement reports, references to contracts are also to be construed as meaning Framework Agreements. Note that the figure of 5,249 SME suppliers may not represent unique suppliers. A supplier may be awarded a regulated contract by more than one public body, in which case they would be counted once by each public body they have been contracted by.

14 Figures taken from PCS usage reports.

15 Note that this figure also includes a small amount of spend where supplier location could not be verified.

16 Information on total business turnover taken from Businesses in Scotland report for 2019. Unlike in our previous report, this year’s analysis of spend by size of supplier business as a proportion of total turnover focuses only on registered businesses.

17 Taken from the Glasgow Clyde College annual procurement report for 2018 to 2019.

18 Figures taken from the 2015, 2017 and 2019 Social Enterprise in Scotland Census.

19 Note that the business sectors are based on the ‘vCode’ classification, which was developed and is owned by the third party supplier responsible for providing the Scottish Procurement Information Hub. This classification is used on the Hub to analyse spend with suppliers in different business categories. The coding of suppliers to the different business categories is based on the supplier’s main area of business and not the specific goods and services purchased under any given contract.

20 Using a variety of indicators relating to income, employment and health, for example, SIMD measures the extent of deprivation in a local area by categorising it into one of five quintiles. Those areas that are assigned to the first quintile are classed as the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland, and those in the fifth quintile are classed as the 20% least deprived.

21 Information taken from the Office for National Statistics’ Inter-Departmental Business Register. For the majority of registered businesses, the turnover figures are based on VAT returns for a 12 month period ending either in January/February 2018 or in December 2018, depending on the reporting pattern of the trader.

22 Data on number of registered businesses taken from Businesses in Scotland report for 2019. Note that data on the number of suppliers registered on PCS is not a count of unique suppliers and may reflect multiple registrations from the same supplier.

23 Taken from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise annual procurement report for 2018 to 2019.

24 For more information, see the Construction Policy Note on PBAs that we published in February 2019.

25 As at 31 March 2019.

26 Figures based upon conventional printed materials and exclude screen print, promotional items and display materials print. Rounded to the nearest £100,000, £2.2 million was spent on conventional print in 2018 to 2019 through the PPDAS Framework. Scottish SME printers gained 95.5% of this spend (£2.1 million) for 2018 to 2019.

27 81 public bodies (74%) provided this information in their annual procurement reports.

28 This involves formally weighting bidders’ Fair Work practices when assessing the overall quality of the tender.

29 Note that the combined total supplier figures referred to in this section may not represent unique suppliers. A supplier may be awarded a regulated contract by more than one public body, in which case they would be counted once by each public body they have been contracted by.

30 For more information, see the Living Wage Scotland Employer Accreditation Guide.

31 The Scottish Business Pledge is a partnership between the Scottish Government and Scottish business, which aims to boost productivity, competitiveness through fairness, equality and sustainable employment among Scottish businesses. Businesses are encouraged to make a range of pledges – for example, paying the real Living Wage, addressing the gender pay gap and refraining from the inappropriate use of zero hours contracts. For more information, see the Scottish Business Pledge website.

32 As a reminder, this figure is based on spend with suppliers that have been classed as commercial organisations or as non-trade social care providers and with whom individual public bodies spent over £1,000 in aggregate during the year.

33 It was not always clear whether the savings data provided related to regulated or unregulated procurement spend.

34 Savings figures for the 2018 to 2019 reporting cycle are lower than the figure we provided in our last report for the previous annual procurement reporting cycle (£540 million of savings achieved across 67 public bodies). This likely reflects the fact that the first annual procurement reporting cycle for public bodies was longer than one full financial year – 15 months for public bodies on the standard financial year and 19 months for universities and colleges.

35 Taken from the Robert Gordon University annual procurement report for 2018 to 2019.

36 By this, we mean public bodies which a) awarded at least one contract valued at or above £4 million during the period under analysis, and b) provided information in their annual procurement reports about the number of contracts at or above the threshold which included community benefit requirements.

37 Based on information from 89 public bodies.

38 For more information, see SPPN 5/2019.

39 For more information, see the Perth and Kinross Council website.

40 Based on data from 110 public bodies’ annual procurement reports.

41 All figures in Table 3 were correct at the time of extraction from PCS.

42 Taken from the Fife Council annual procurement report for 2018 to 2019.

43 The four procurement Centres of Expertise in Scotland are: Scotland Excel, for Scotland’s local government sector; APUC Limited, for Scotland’s universities and colleges; NHS National Procurement, for health; and the Scottish Government, for central government bodies.

44 Figures for the universities and colleges sector are based on academic years – some past reports were compiled based on fiscal years so may be reported slightly differently.

45 Taken from the Scottish Government annual procurement report for 2018 to 2019.



Back to top