Coronavirus (COVID-19): PPE Strategy and Governance Board minutes: 21 January 2021

Minutes from the meeting on the 21 January 2021 of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE Strategy and Governance Board.

Attendees and apologies

  • Alan Morrison (AM) (Chair)
  • Moira Parker (MP)
  • Graeme Cook (GC)
  • Julie Welsh (JW)
  • Nick Ford (NF)
  • Gordon Beattie (GB)
  • Catriona Dalrymple (CD)
  • Chris Dunne (CDu)
  • Lee Hegarty (LH)
  • Andy McLaughlin (AMc)
  • Irene Keith (Secretariat).


  • Alison Bell
  • Alex McMahon

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

AM opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees.

Minutes from 10 December 2020 and actions outstanding

AM gave an overview of the actions from the previous meeting.  The minutes were agreed by board members.

AM proposed item 4 on the Agenda be brought forward to assist GC and this was agreed.

Update on discussion on the PPE Centres of Expertise Group on the potential of one Scotland wide PPE Framework. 

GC provided an outline of the conversation at the CoE Group.  They felt this would be substantive piece of work but that creating a standard Category A procurement solution would not solve existing problems.  Feedback from the CoE Group was that  significant collaboration is already in place with an established network of procurement officials.  There is however a need for further collaboration on information and data and therefore more regular meetings should be set up.  The CoE Group concluded there was no clear advantage in setting up a standard framework for procurement as this doesn’t in itself secure a supply chain.

The CoE Group looked at a centralised buying option where there was a need to commit to purchasing minimum volumes and ensure there was a pipeline of sales available.  This option would require high levels of co-operation between the parties involved. The main advantage of this approach is that it could help mitigate against price fluctuation however, in times of high price volatility it could commit participants to a price that could be above market prices. This could be integrated with pandemic stock-pile contingencies to help to manage stock expiry and reduce waste.

Another route is to take a ‘agency agreement’ approach whereby interested parties delegate their buying authority to one centralised supplier or body to source and purchase their PPE. An example of how this works in practice is in Gas & Electricity where public bodies give agency to SG to commit their money to buying these commodities well in advance. 

A general discussion took place around where the request originated from, whether it was still relevant and whether such options manipulated the market. 

To move this forward the Board has to decide what it wants a collaborative procurement approach to achieve and and which, if any, of these options it is interested in taking up. It was agreed that AM would set up a meeting with appropriate individuals to analyse further and determine how the Board wanted to proceed. 

GC happy to respond to any further questions via email.

Action: AM to organise a further meeting.  Members to advise IK of those who should be involved in that meeting.

Update from sectors post EU Exit

General feedback indicated that there had been no adverse impact on PPE supply to date.  However considered early days and therefore this item should be kept on the agenda.

MP outlined the SSI on CE easement extension which will maintain the status quo.  She also advised the need to keep track of the proposals for a UK CA marking.

PPE Action Plan – Supporting Actions

AM gave an overview of the current position of the PPE Action Plan – Supporting Actions. AMc advised the brochure referred to in Action 17 had now been published online and he asked that members pass this onto their contacts.  AMc will send a copy to IK. No further comments were received by the board.

Date of next meeting

AM asked if we need to set up a separate operational Board which would report to the S&G Board. This will allow the S&G Board to address strategic matters more fully while convening less frequently.

Action: AM and MP to bring forward a paper with a formal proposal to the next meeting for the group to consider.

It was agreed the next meeting would take place at the end of February.

Any other business

JW advised Scotland Excel going to the market for PPE in next few months as they have agreed this with local authorities to make members aware.

LH advised the extension of their existing arrangements to the end of June but are seeking clarity on the long term and will provide an update to future meeting.

MP advised for awareness they were considering the position in relation to the Lyreco contract.

NF asked if future tenders should be held back to allow further discussion on Item 3.  JW advised she would check if that was possible

AM thanked everyone for their contributions

Meeting closed.

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