Scottish Government procurement: annual report 2020 to 2021

Report on the procurement activity undertaken by the Scottish Government between April 2020 and March 2021; for the Scottish Government, for central Government bodies and at a national level for all public sector bodies.

1. Introduction

The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 forms part of the public procurement legislation which governs how Scottish public bodies buy their goods, works and services. It allows us to maximise the economic benefit brought to Scotland through effective and efficient public procurement activity.

The Act requires public bodies, such as ourselves, to publish procurement strategies to set out how they intend to carry out their regulated procurements and publish Annual Procurement Reports which describe how their procurement activities have complied with these strategies. This report reflects our performance as a contracting authority and also includes reference to some of the broader activities we undertake in leading and delivering procurement policy and capability across the Scottish public sector.

Annually, we review our Procurement Strategy to make sure it remains relevant and fit for purpose. This Annual Report demonstrates our delivery against the commitments set out in that strategy for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, where we said we would:

a) provide summary information on regulated procurements we have completed during the period;

b) review whether those procurements kept to our strategy; and

c) provide a summary of regulated procurement we expect to begin in the next two financial years.

In reporting year 2020 to 2021, as the emerging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and supply chains became clearer, we focused on providing clear guidance and support for public bodies and businesses. This helped us to maximise the role of public sector procurement in supporting businesses through the pandemic and in the start of the economic recovery.

Our ambitions for public sector procurement remain focused on the outcomes we believe will deliver a Just Transition to a net zero economy and society, ensuring the journey is fair and creates a better future for everyone – regardless of where they live, what they do, and who they are. We want procurement to be:

  • Good for businesses and their employees.
  • Good for society.
  • Good for places and communities.
  • Open and connected.

Figure 1: The four outcomes for Scottish public sector procurement

Our purpose: To use our collective spending power to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and deliver outcomes that are:

  • Good for businesses and their employees
  • Good for society
  • Good for places and communities
  • Open and connected

Our involvement in public procurement is far broader than buying on behalf of Scottish Ministers. We buy for the wider public sector in Scotland and provide procurement support to Scottish Government agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs).

Our contracting activity covers four main areas:

  • Scottish Government core contracts: contracts for Scottish Government use only
  • Central Government Agencies and NDPBs: non-collaborative contracts that we place on behalf of individual public bodies in the Scottish central government family
  • Sectoral collaborative frameworks: these are let by the Scottish Government for use by the central government family of organisations including agencies and NDPBs
  • National collaborative frameworks and contracts: We provide framework agreements and contracts for commonly purchased goods and services which are used across the public sector.



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