Procurement activity: annual report overview 2020 to 2021

An overview of public procurement activity in Scotland for 2020 to 2021, based on information contained in individual annual procurement reports prepared by public bodies and other relevant information.

4. Future procurement activity

The 2014 Act requires public bodies to provide a summary, in their annual procurement reports, of the regulated procurements expected to commence over the next two financial years. This brings added transparency to the procurement process and enables suppliers to gain an early indication of upcoming tendering opportunities and to plan accordingly for these.

Some public bodies commented on the difficulties of being able to accurately predict the nature and extent of their upcoming procurement activity, and there is some evidence that the pandemic made this more challenging. For example, as the Scottish Parliament noted, changes in the usage of contracts during the reporting year had a knock-on effect on the planning of future contracts:

"Use of some contracts increased as we put in place infrastructure to support the hybrid meetings, made necessary adaptations for physical distancing, and equipped staff for home working. Other contracts saw usage fall due to the lack of staff and visitors in the building, such as the crèche, catering facilities and visitor related services. The change of usage in contracts has also affected the planning of future procurements. Some anticipated projects have been postponed as the level of demand has dropped and some will need time to be rescoped to take into account changes in our ways of working, particularly around digital capability."

Despite the challenges, it is encouraging that public bodies are increasingly providing information on their future procurement activity. For this reporting cycle, 117 (98% of reporting bodies) provided information on the total number of regulated procurements expected to commence in the next two years – an increase from the previous reporting year, when 97 public bodies (84%) provided this information. Across these 117 public bodies, the total combined number of regulated procurements expected to begin in the next two years was 6,872.


Across 117 public bodies, 6,872 regulated procurements are expected to commence in the next two financial years.

One hundred and six public bodies (88%) provided information in their reports on the estimated value of the regulated procurements expected to begin in the next two financial years – an increase on the 84 public bodies (73%) who did so for the previous year. Across these 106 public bodies, the combined total estimated value was £32.2 billion.

£32.2 billion

Across 106 public bodies, the total estimated value of regulated procurements expected to commence over the next two years was £32.2 billion.

In terms of the nature of the regulated procurements expected to commence in the next two years, public bodies detailed a wide range of goods, services and works. For example:

  • local government – employee wellbeing services, consultancy support, provision of early learning and childcare, and housing information and advice
  • central government – telecoms services, legal services, occupational health services, and bus transport services
  • universities and colleges – library management systems, vehicle hire, cleaning materials and consumables, student placement software, student accommodation services
  • health sector bodies – supply of cleaning products, bowel screening, test and protect call centres, online mental health support for children, mental health services, dental services
  • registered social landlords – landscape maintenance, windows and doors replacement, construction of affordable housing, drainage, furniture, and gas maintenance and servicing.



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