Annual report on procurement activity in Scotland: 2019

An overview of public procurement activity in Scotland, based on information contained in individual procurement reports prepared by public bodies.

1. Introduction

This document is the first annual report by Scottish Ministers on the procurement activity of higher spending public bodies in Scotland. It is required under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 ("the 2014 Act"). It also meets a commitment within our Programme for Government for 2018/19 to publish a report on the public procurement activity of more than 100 Scottish public bodies. The report focuses mainly on that procurement activity including specific activity contributing to the use of community benefit requirements, and payment of the real Living Wage.

This first report provides an overview of the information taken from the 115 annual procurement reports[1] published last year by public bodies[2] in Scotland (figure 1 below shows a breakdown of annual procurement reports published across the public sector).

Figure 1: Number of annual procurement reports published by sector

Figure 1: Number of annual procurement reports published by sector

While individual annual procurement reports must meet legislative requirements set by the 2014 Act, these also describe the organisational aims and objectives of individual public bodies. This means that there is some necessary variation in the content of those reports and this is reflected in this overview report.

This report is also informed by other data taken from, for example, Public Contracts Scotland (the national advertising website for public sector contract opportunities in Scotland) and from the Scottish Procurement Information Hub (a tool that enables over 100 Scottish public bodies to examine procurement spend by analysing accounts payable data).

Overall, the purpose of this first Scottish Ministers' report is to provide an overview of procurement activity by public bodies across Scotland. It will not touch on all areas where public procurement can have an impact, but it will support increased transparency and visibility of public procurements. It should also help to inform any further activity needed to continue to maximise public procurement's contribution to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Scottish public procurement rules and scope of this report

Public procurement is the term we use to describe how Scottish public bodies set up and manage contracts, suppliers and supply chains to deliver goods, services and works. This can include goods like books and computers, services like health and social care, and catering, and works like building roads and hospitals.

The 2014 Act forms part of the public procurement legislation that governs how Scottish public bodies buy their goods, services or works. It places a small number of general duties on public bodies regarding their procurement activities and some specific measures aimed at promoting good, transparent and consistent practice in procurement. It also places some administrative requirements on higher spending public bodies to publish procurement strategies and annual procurement reports, which will aid visibility of the purchasing activities of these bodies and how they will meet their sustainable procurement duties.

One of the things that the 2014 Act requires us to do is to prepare an overview report. This Report must include information summarising:

  • regulated procurement activity across Scotland by higher spending public bodies including the Scottish Government
  • community benefit requirements that those public bodies considered fulfilled
  • steps taken to facilitate the involvement of supported businesses in regulated procurements

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.



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