Information

Information regarding community benefits: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


Information requested

You asked for the following information, for each of the last three years:

1. The £ value of the community benefits delivered - based on the relevant procurement spend in each year (I appreciate the requirement to consider community benefits is only relevant to contracts over £4M)

2. A breakdown of these benefits by the top three contracts in each year delivering benefits (e.g. the community benefits realised from building the Forth Crossing, etc)

3. A breakdown of the areas where these benefits were delivered across Scotland

Response

1. The Scottish Government publishes an annual procurement report, part of which refers to contracts awarded that contain community benefits. Links to the last 3 published reports are below:
Scottish Government procurement annual report: 2018 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Scottish Government procurement annual report: 2019 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Scottish Government procurement annual report: 2020 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Details on contracts and community benefits can be found in section 6 of each report.

Other Scottish public bodies are also required to publish an annual procurement report; information on community benefits is typically included. I enclose a spreadsheet containing links to all submitted reports submitted for the 2017/18 financial year. Links to reports published by Scottish public bodies covering financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 are below:
Public sector annual procurement reports 2019: list - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Public sector annual procurement reports 2020: list - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Please note that while the Scottish Government hosts links to the annual reports of Scottish public sector organisations centrally, the responsibility for maintaining the linked sites falls with individual reporting organisations. In the case of out of date links, you may wish to contact the organisation responsible for the specific report of interest.

The Scottish Government analyses the data contained in these reports and publishes the findings of this research in an Annual Report on Procurement Activity in Scotland, which are available here:
Procurement activity: annual report 2017 to 2018 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Procurement activity: annual report 2018 to 2019 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Procurement activity: annual report 2019 to 2020 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Information on community benefits is contained in pages 22 – 26 of the 2017 to 2018 report, pages 30 - 32 of the 2018 to 2019 report, and pages 34 - 35 of the 2019 to 2020 report. Data is not yet available for the 2020 to 2021 financial year as this analysis is still underway. This report will be made publicly available on our website when it is complete.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained in the Annex.

2. The Scottish Government does not endorse or use monetary gauges to measure social impacts in procurement as part of the procurement process, including community benefits. For further information on this policy, please see our SPPN 10/2020: Measuring social impact in public procurement which is available here: Measuring social impact in public procurement: SPPN 10/2020 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot). Because of this, we cannot provide you with a list of contracts ranked by the community values they deliver. Instead,
we can provide you with three highest value contracts in the last three financial years, and the community benefits that the suppliers of these contracts have committed to.

Attached is a spreadsheet containing information on the top three value Scottish Government contracts for the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years, the value of each contract at award, and the community benefits that the suppliers delivered through these contracts. Many of these are collaborative National Frameworks, which the Scottish Government places on behalf of the whole Scottish public sector. Public sector organisations use frameworks by placing their own call off contracts from the framework. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the community benefits delivered through call off contracts as they are let at a local level. Information on the community benefits delivered through specific call off contracts is likely to be held in the annual report of the organisation who placed that contract. A list of all annual reports received by the Scottish Government was included in your answer to part 1.

Information on the community benefits committed to by suppliers can be found in the Framework Buyers Guides located on the Scottish Government frameworks and contracts directory.

I have included links to the Buyers Guides that relate to your contracts of interest below for ease of access:
Electricity framework agreement: 2019-2023 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Software value added re-seller framework - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Temporary and interim staff services frameworks 2019 to 2023 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Natural gas framework agreement - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Water and waste water billing services framework - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Web based and proprietary devices framework (SP-19-013) - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Desktop client devices framework (SP-19-016) - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Recruitment advertising and public notices framework - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

3. A breakdown of the areas where community benefits are delivered in Scotland is contained in the published Annual Reports on Procurement Activity in Scotland, as referenced in response to your first question. I have re-included links to these below for ease of access:
Procurement activity: annual report 2017 to 2018 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Procurement activity: annual report 2018 to 2019 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Procurement activity: annual report 2019 to 2020 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Data on the types of community benefits delivered in each financial year can be found in figure 10 on page 24 of the 2017 to 2018 report, figure 10 on page 31 of the 2018 to 2019 report, and figure 5 on page 35 of the 2019 to 2020 report. Data is not yet available for the 2020 to 2021 financial year as this analysis is still underway. This report will be made publicly available on our website when it is complete.

In your request you mentioned you were unable to access the 2015 paper Analysis of the impact and value of community benefit clauses in procurement. This paper is available here:
Analysis of the impact and value of community benefit clauses in procurement - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The published report Analysis of the Impact and Value of the Sustainable Procurement Duty in Procurement: Final Report 2020 provides an update to this research. This paper is available here: Analysis of the Impact and Value of the Sustainable Procurement Duty in Procurement: Final Report (www.gov.scot)

The section entitled 'Types of community benefits delivered' found in pages 18 - 23 contains information on the areas where these benefits were delivered in Scotland.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI202100260979 - Annex

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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