Outcomes for procurement

Outcomes for procurement will help us shape the advice, services and solutions we deliver across public procurement in Scotland.

Good for businesses and their employees

Procurement can contribute to a Fairer Scotland by using our spending power in a way that is good for business in Scotland, and is also good for the employees of those businesses.

Fair payment, and the real opportunity to bid for and win contracts.

Paying promptly for goods and services we receive is vital to support businesses, particularly Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). This gets money into local economies as quickly as possible. Public sector organisations, are encouraged through the Procurement Reform Act and their procurement strategies, to make sure suppliers in public supply chains are paid within 30 days. The Scottish Government goes one step further and aspires to pay valid invoices within 10 days.

shamrock shaped diagram highlighting the ‘good for businesses and their employees procurement outcome

We want to make it easy for businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to do business with us.

To achieve this, we are providing a range of help and support.

The Supplier Journey provides accessible guidance for businesses on the procurement processes and how to bid for public sector contracts.

picture 1: cyclical diagram of the Supplier Journey showing the following stops: ‘Prepare, bid, decision & award, contract management, lesson learned’. picture 2: Supplier Development Programme logo-an orange and grey robot holding a sign with their name and the slogan ‘Helping you bid better’

Free training for Scottish-based SMEs is available from the Supplier Development Programme. Part funded by the Scottish Government, this helps businesses and their staff improve their skills and knowledge on how to bid for public contracts.

We see improving access to public contracts for SMEs, the third sector and supported businesses as a key part of our approach to meeting the sustainable procurement duty.

Other measures we have introduced to help include:

  • Project Bank Accounts for construction projects to ensure that payments to sub-contractors - many of whom are SMEs - are prompt and protected.
  • Third sector support through the Partnership for Procurement (p4p) programme and support and training for third sector organisations.
  • Legislation to prevent higher value regulated procurement public contracts being awarded on the basis of lowest cost, and set out in statutory guidance that this should also apply to the award of lower-value contracts.
  • Reserving contracts for supported businesses.

You can read more about these measures on our website, and you can also watch our video case study about Consult Lifts. This is a Scottish SME, who have grown with the support of the Supplier Development Programme and winning public contracts.

screenshot of the video, features a man standing outside his van

You can also watch our video explaining the good for businesses and their employees outcome.

Fair work, that is good for business, as well as for workers.

We encourage employers to invest in their staff and treat them fairly. We want Scotland to be the best place to live, work, invest and do business.

Fair Work is the foundation for this, and indeed, a prerequisite for it to happen in a sustainable way. We believe that Scotland can make strides in Fair Work that will underpin our economic success, as well as the wellbeing and prosperity of our people, communities and businesses.

We know that many employers are already applying Fair Work practices and that Scotland's leading firms are as productive as elsewhere.

However, we also know that we need to do more to engage with those employers to share best practice so that we can unleash the creativity, talent and skills of all Scotland's people.

We believe that our public sector can work in genuine partnership with the private and third sectors to create the conditions for this to happen.

We have published our Fair Work Action Plan and through our Fair Work and Procurement policies, we now expect:

  • Public bodies to promote fair work in all relevant procurement processes while ensuring the appropriate balance between quality and cost of the contract, including the impact of cost on working conditions.
  • Suppliers delivering public contracts to adopt and demonstrate appropriate fair work practices, ensuring that these are delivered for all workers engaged on delivering the public contract.

front page of the Fair Work Action Plan-featuring a diverse group of people in all different uniforms and styles of clothes


Email: scottishprocurement@gov.scot

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