Scottish Government Procurement Strategy 2017-2019

This strategy outlines our policies on how we conduct our procurement activity and the priorities we have.

1. Introduction

This document sets out our procurement strategy for 2017 to 2019. Our priorities for the strategy come from Scotland's economic strategy and the Scotland Performs framework . We will review this Procurement Strategy every year to reflect the Programme for Government and any other priorities for public procurement in Scotland.

Examples of how our procurement activities have contributed to the two pillars of Scotland's economic strategy - competitiveness and tackling inequality - are contained in case studies within this document. Our key priorities for 2017/2018 are outlined in section 4.

Our involvement in public procurement (arranging paying for goods, services and works to benefit the public) is far broader than meeting our own requirements. By works contracts, we mean those contracts mostly associated with the construction industry.

As well as procuring goods and services on behalf of Scottish Ministers, we also procure for the public sector and other organisations in Scotland. We provide a range of procurement support to Scottish Government agencies and non-departmental public bodies ( NDPBs). In doing so, we work with the public sector, the third sector (supported businesses, social firms, voluntary and charity organisations), trade unions, businesses and communities, and other key stakeholders (people with an interest in our work) to help deliver the economic strategy.

We fund a range of eCommerce products (systems which allow contracting to be carried out electronically) for use by public sector organisations including:

  • the Public Contracts Scotland ( PCS) national advertising portal;
  • an e-tendering service to allow suppliers to send tenders in an electronic format; and
  • a purchase-to-pay facility which automates the buying process from identification of a need through to purchasing and payment.

We are also responsible for procurement policy and legislation in Scotland and are involved in a range of cross-sector groups which:

  • work jointly on developing procurement policy;
  • identify best practice in public procurement;
  • develop the capability and skills of buyers and others involved in procurement;
  • increase collaboration between organisations; and
  • increase the use of eCommerce across the public sector.

Work to improve public procurement in Scotland is truly collaborative, and involves the private and third sectors. Since 2006, there has been a programme of activity across the public sector to help improve the procurement process. This work is overseen by:

  • the Public Procurement Group ( PPG), which is responsible for delivering our vision for public procurement, making sure that public procurement in Scotland stays on course to deliver benefits, and that obstacles to this are removed or reduced; and
  • the Procurement Supply Group ( PSG), which provides an ongoing framework for discussion about, and influence on, public procurement practices as they affect suppliers. In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs), the third sector and supported businesses, and trade unions.

More information on these groups is available on our website.


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