Appendix 2 – eCommerce and Procurement Best Practice Shared Service
We provide a national eCommerce and Procurement Best Practice Shared Service that enables public sector organisations to carry out procurement exercises and business transactions electronically. The Service delivers efficiencies and savings to public sector organisations by reducing the time it takes to get the goods, services and works needed to deliver public services. It brings benefits to suppliers such as providing access to contract opportunities and more efficient ordering and payment processes. The solutions that underpin the Service are regularly upgraded to ensure that they continue to meet user requirements and deliver enhanced capability, efficiencies and benefits. We also provide a number of procurement best practice tools to improve and enhance procurement capability across Scotland. Our eCommerce solutions and procurement best practice tools are described below:
Public Contracts Scotland (PCS)
A ‘one-stop shop’ for suppliers looking for Scottish public sector contract opportunities. PCS has enabled stronger communication links between buyers and suppliers. The use of PCS by Scottish public sector organisations to advertise their regulated contract opportunities is mandatory.
PCS - Tender
The national e-tendering service that allows suppliers to submit tenders for a public contract in electronic format. It also enables public sector organisations to manage their contracts and suppliers electronically.
Provides an online single source of procurement guidance and documentation for the Scottish public sector. After significant stakeholder engagement it was upgraded and relaunched in March 2020 with improvements to both its functionality and content. Its purpose is to communicate and drive best practice and compliance throughout the Scottish public sector from simple purchases to complex procurement exercises. The Procurement Journey is kept up-to-date to reflect current legislation and policy.
Provides online guidance to suppliers to make it easier for them to bid for public goods and services. After significant engagement with suppliers it was updated in March 2020 with improved functionality to support businesses when bidding for public contracts.
The Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme (PCIP)
This continuous improvement programme focuses on the culture, scope and approach of the public sector organisation which manages, supports and enables procurement activity from the identification of a need through to contract delivery. It is based around set questions and other evaluation methods with a detailed examination of activities such as contract management, ensuring that procurements are conducted sustainably, and some other indirect areas such as continuous professional development. Public sector organisations can then, based on the outcome of the assessment, develop an action plan to achieve maximum value for money and improve their ability when buying goods, services and works. The PCIP assessment tool and process is regularly reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect current legislation and best practice.
The Scottish Procurement Information Hub
A sophisticated spend analysis tool that provides reporting capability on procurement spend by key public sector organisations which enables them to see their spend, identify who their key suppliers are, highlight spend with SMEs and local suppliers and identify potential collaborative opportunities.
Automates the purchase to pay process from creating shopping baskets, raising orders and presenting valid invoices for payment. It also embeds standard and consistent business workflows and audited approval processes to ensure compliance with procurement and finance guidelines.
Enables the receipt of electronic invoices from suppliers which are validated and then automatically passed to public sector organisations for matching and payment in finance systems.
PECOS Catalogue Management
Manages the validation and approval of catalogues that are made available as a result of national, sectoral or local contracts. It allows catalogues to be published in a number of formats for upload into purchase to pay systems that are in use across the Scottish public sector.
Enables 3rd party systems to access catalogue content and create a shopping basket that is then returned to that 3rd party system for PO creation, approval and transmission.
The Single Procurement Document (SPD) (Scotland)
Must be used in Scotland for procurements regulated under the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 and is recommended for all other procurements. The SPD helps reduce the administrative burden on bidders and removes some of the barriers to participation in public procurements, especially for SMEs. It allows buyers to identify suitably qualified and experienced bidders and replaces the requirement for suppliers to provide up-front evidence or certificates by allowing them to self-declare that they meet the relevant criteria. Bidders are also able to store and reuse their information for future use. We continue to update the SPD in response to feedback from suppliers.
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