Public Procurement Survey of Suppliers: analysis 2020

An analysis of findings from the Public Procurement Survey of Suppliers 2020.


1. As such, the survey did not gain views on procurement activities related to UK public sector organisations which are located in Scotland, such as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office or HM Revenue and Customs.

2. Within individual questions, the sample size does not always equal 1,556. This is largely because of the routing rules used throughout the survey and the minimal use of compulsory questions. Also, some figures in the report may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

3. This suggested that some respondents did not fully understand the categories contained within the question.

4. By this, we mean both full-time and part-time employees on the payroll as well as any working proprietors or owners, but excluding the self-employed and outside contractor or agency staff.

5. Information on the number of registered businesses in Scotland by employee size band is taken from Businesses in Scotland (2020) – Time Series 2. Throughout the analysis, all data taken from Businesses in Scotland reflects the position of businesses as at 13 March 2020.

6. Information taken from the Scottish Procurement Information Hub and relates to all suppliers where size of supplier business is known. Supplier number information is based on clustered groupings of a combination of supplier name, address or classification information, not the legal entity for each supplier. As such, this figure is an estimate only. The data placed on the Hub is regularly revalidated and may be subject to change. The figure above was correct at the date of retrieval from the Hub (4 March 2020).

7. A degree of caution is required in using the Businesses in Scotland data to assess whether certain supplier groups are overrepresented or underrepresented in the survey responses. The Businesses in Scotland data covers all businesses operating in Scotland regardless of the location of their main base. In the survey, suppliers based across multiple sites are classified according to the location of their head office; this means that suppliers operating in Scotland could still be classified as being based outside of Scotland, if their head office is located elsewhere.

8. Micro businesses are a subset of small businesses. Therefore, while micro businesses can also be classed as small businesses, the same is not true of the reverse.

9. According to the Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (2007), other service activities includes the activities of membership organisations, the repair of computers and personal/household goods, and a variety of personal service activities not represented elsewhere in the classification.

10. Information taken from the Scottish Procurement Information Hub and relates to procurement spend in Scotland where postcode and business sector are known. Note that the Hub data uses the 'vCode' classification for business sector. This classification was developed and is owned by the third party supplier responsible for providing the Scottish Procurement Information Hub. This classification is used on the Hub to analyse spend with suppliers in different business categories. The coding of suppliers to the different business categories is based on the supplier's main area of business and not the specific goods and services purchased under any given contract.

11. Source: Businesses in Scotland (2020) – Table 1.

12. Again, care must be taken in making assessments about the representativeness of the survey respondents because of the different ways in which business location is classified in both sources.

13. Organisations based across multiple sites were asked to select the local authority in which their head office is located.

14. While this report usually analyses qualitative data from a random 10% sample of respondents to any given question, the qualitative responses to this particular question were analysed in full.

15. By 'local', we mean operating within 25 miles of the supplier's base/head office. By 'regional', we mean an operating range of more than 25 miles but within 100 miles of the supplier's base/head office.

16. Taken from the Supplier Development Programme annual report for 2019 to 2020.

17. The qualitative responses to this particular question were analysed in full (i.e. they do not reflect a random 10% sample).

18. Note that this was a multiple choice question.

19. For more information, see the Scottish Government website.

20. Broken down further, 44% of respondents rated their experiences as 'good' and 14% rated them as 'excellent'.

21. Seven per cent of respondents answered 'poor' and 4% answered 'very poor'.

22. Note that this was a multiple choice question.

23. Note that this was a multiple choice question.

24. The qualitative responses to this question were coded and analysed in full.

25. This is likely a reference to the PCS-Tender portal, which is distinguished from the main PCS portal. Generally, PCS is used for lower contracts and call-offs from framework agreements, while PCS-Tender is used for running larger contracts.

26. Note that 'PQs' is likely a reference to the now obsolete pre-qualification questionnaires, which were later replaced by the ESPD.



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