Appendix 1: Topic Guide
- Confirm happy with information sheet
- Confirm happy to sign consent from
- Check no other questions
- Details of role, length of time in the organisation, main duties etc
- Their role in the procurement process/journey (PROBE FOR DETAILS AND REFINE INTERVIEW ACCORDINGLY)
History of procurement
- Could we begin by discussing your understanding of the evolving role of procurement, and specifically, sustainable procurement leading to social impact within Scotland? And in the UK in general?
- What have been your experiences in this area? (Probe for differences if have worked for more than one contracting authority)
- What have been the key learnings/solutions?
- What have been the key facets to moving this work forward e.g., policy/legislation/embedding/promotion/sharing of results/buy in at senior level?
- What have been the main barriers?
- what solutions have been put in place to overcome these barriers?
- which ones still exist?
Current procurement practice
- How would you rate the effectiveness of the current processes in place in procurement policy and legislation with respect to facilitating and driving wider economic, social and environmental benefits? PROBE
- outcomes focused approach rather than monetary value
- support provided via e.g., Procurement Journey and Supplier Journey, SPPNs, Climate and Procurement Forum etc.
- What your opinions of the associated tools and guidance?
- What resources/practices have been enablers?
- How would you rate the support provided to SMEs and third sector organisation to be procurement ready? (Supplier Development Programme, Partnership for Procurement)
To what extent do you agree that
- sustainable procurement outcomes are being integrated?
- sustainable procurement outcomes are achieving significant positive impacts in Scotland?
- Why do you say that?
And are you aware of how this information is recorded, shared, promoted?
What good looks like?
- In your opinion, what does good look like in terms of sustainable procurement leading to social impact?
- Do you have any feedback/evidence on the long-term impact of procurement in terms of sustainable outcomes?
- What are the key factors that would define this?
Do you have any instances of best practice that you think should be shared? In relation to
- social impact/community benefits/developing the supply chain
- other sustainable procurements outcomes
- Fair Work practices
- innovative ways of engaging with communities to set local, as well as meet national priorities
- considering equality and the impact on particular target/vulnerable groups
- social impact being at the centre of the organisation's approach to procurement
- social impact/community benefit and procurement being embedded in BAU activity within contractors (including roles created to support this)
- collaboration leading to maximised outcomes – early engagement
- how benefits relate to National Performance Framework
- procurement of sub-contractors
- contract management
And what are the key learning/themes that we should pull from this?
What are the best ways to promote/share this information so it can be implemented?
How can we be innovative in this approach?
What barriers exist? PROBE
- buy in, negative perceptions
- size of organisation – fair competition
- measuring impact, additionality and sustainability
- resources, cost and capability within organisation
- detailing who has ownership for this once the contract ends
- lack of evidence base of long-term outcomes
- need for systematic monitoring
- awareness of how social impact/community benefit relate to procurement
- wide scope of what constitutes social impact and sustainability, consistent measures to indicate this
- balancing local and national priorities
- lack of clarity on definitions
- perception that community benefit mainly relates to construction (generally short-term contracts so how does this link to sustainability?)
- targeting of specific disadvantaged groups
- accountability in delivery of outcomes
Learning from the UK
**refine depending on individual's role/awareness/understanding of UK policy and practice and repeat above questions accordingly
- What is your understanding/awareness of how procurement works in other parts of the UK?
What could we learn from this practice/these areas?
- And what should the UK learn from what Scotland is doing?
Do you have any other comments in relation to sustainable procurement that we have not covered?
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