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Scottish procurement policy handbook

Rules and standards for public procurement. This document is under review and whilst it reflects general process, references to legislation may not be current.


7 Collaboration

Collaboration across public procurement functions provides opportunities for: better utilisation of procurement skills and resources; greater purchasing leverage through aggregation of spend; encouraging competition or innovation in markets (thereby providing value for money); maximising benefits; and the spread of best practice. Organisations should collaborate to achieve these benefits where it makes logical and commercial sense to do so.

In the absence of comparable local arrangement, where a requirement can be met and value for money achieved through the use of an existing contract ( e.g. a contract put in place by one of the Centres of Expertise or another collaborative procurement agency), organisations should utilise the existing contract.

Contracting authorities should seek to collaborate wherever possible with the Centres of Expertise.

The aggregation of purchasing spend has the potential to provide significant value and benefit across the public sector. To assist the realisation of these potential benefits, areas of spend or categories have been grouped by sector specific attributes or commonality. These groupings define how and by whom in the national procurement structure, contracts are established for each of the categories.

Category A - National Contracts are established centrally and will include, for example, stationery and Information and Communications Technologies ( ICT). There is a presumption that National Contracts will be used by all organisations funded or owned by the public sector in Scotland unless there are compelling and objective business reasons to the contrary.

Category B - Sector Specific Contracts are established within each sector (local authorities, the health service, universities and colleges, and the Scottish Government and its agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies). There is a presumption that Category B contracts will be used by all organisations across the relevant sector unless there are compelling and objective business reasons to the contrary.

Category C - General Contracts for commodities and services which are neither classified as A (National Contracts) or B (Sector Specific Contracts) and which will be conducted as the remit of a single organisation.

Category C1 - Local/Regional Contracts for commodities and services which are neither classified as A (National Contracts) or B (Sector Specific Contracts) and which could be consolidated in a region or other grouping to the benefit of purchasing power and optimisation of skilled resources.

To enable organisations to identify and exploit opportunities for collaboration, contracting authorities should place details of all advertisements and contracts on the national portal:
http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/.

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