Scottish Government procurement strategy: April 2022 to March 2024

Scottish Government procurement strategy covering the period from April 2022 to March 2024.

2. Introduction

This document sets out the Scottish Government’s procurement strategy for 2022-2024. It also describes how we plan to carry out our procurements for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2024. It reflects our performance as a contracting authority and some broader activities we undertake in leading and delivering strategic governance, procurement policy, capability and eCommerce solutions across the Scottish public sector.

The strategy covers commitments described in Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation that was published in March 2022 and the Scotland’s Programme for Government published in September 2021. This includes using the £13.3 billion annual procurement spend across the Scottish public sector to boost inclusive economic recovery, support longer term economic wellbeing, a just transition to net zero and to support our response to the climate emergency. In doing so, we will work collaboratively across the public sector. Our tools and guidance will influence and empower buyer, supplier and key stakeholder communities to use public procurement to support an inclusive and green economic recovery.

Overall, this strategy outlines how we will use the Power of Procurement to deliver and influence outcomes that are good for businesses and their employees, good for places and communities, good for society, and that are open and connected with the communities we serve.

The broad principles and policies described in this document are expected to remain relevant until at least 31 March 2024. We will, however, continue to review the strategy at least once a year and make changes to it if required, to ensure that it remains current. We will publish any new versions on our website.

2.1 The Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate (SPPD)

The Scottish Government is responsible for developing public procurement policy and legislation in Scotland and, like all public sector organisations, its own procurement activity. These functions are managed through the Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate.

The directorate is made up of six divisions and our role is to lead and deliver public procurement in Scotland at national, central government and Scottish Government levels.

We maximise impact and leverage for economic and social benefit, deliver a best-in-class Procurement and Property Service and provide leadership and influence impact on the wider sector.

Our work focuses on facilitating procurement and property activities through:

  • delivery and management of various collaborative agreements and contracts;
  • procurement and commercial policy and advice;
  • construction procurement policy and advice;
  • property, asset and estate management policy and advice;
  • eCommerce, Management Information and procurement best practice tools and templates;
  • people capability and skills development;
  • knowledge sharing and driving engagement across the public sector in Scotland;
  • reviewing how we manage projects; and
  • continuously aiming to improve our performance.

Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate

  • Collaborative Procurement Division (CPD)
  • Directorate Business Management Unit (DBMU)
  • Property and Construction Division (PCD)
  • Procurement and Commercial Policy and Strategy (PCPS)
  • Procurement eCommerce and Best Practice (PeBPD)
  • Procurement Services Division (PSD)

Delegated Purchasing Officer (DPO)

More information on SPPD.

2.2 Our Contracting Activity

Our contracting activity is broad. We buy on behalf of Scottish Ministers, provide contracting support to the wider public sector in Scotland through framework agreements 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 across the central government family of organisations including agencies and NDPBs.
  • National collaborative contracts/frameworks: we provide framework agreements and contracts for commonly purchased goods, services, utilities and works which are used across the public sector.

2.3 Our Stakeholders

A wide range of people are interested in our work and engage with us, including:

  • those we provide procurement, property and related services to;
  • those who work with us to improve how public procurement is conducted in Scotland;
  • key representatives of the professions and business communities we work with;
  • the companies and organisations we buy goods, works and services from; and
  • colleagues in other government departments or areas of the public service.

We promote early engagement with our stakeholders and customers to improve commercial outcomes. Our role within this landscape has expanded:

  • from leading processes and procedures to one where we strive for even greater impact and influence;
  • from having a focus on contracting and compliance to being a critical friend and trusted adviser;
  • from approving and endorsing to stimulating and challenging approaches; and
  • from central resourcing to flexible resourcing models.

We work for

  • The public
  • Scottish Ministers
  • Scottish Government Directorates (Directors General, Directors)
  • Our customers

We work with

  • Governance bodies helping to improve procurement and property
  • Procurement Centres of Expertise
  • Cross-functional Teams
  • Project delivery communities

Communities we engage

  • Professionals in public procurement, property and construction
  • Professional bodies
  • Business and third sector representatives
  • Global Procurement community

We buy from

  • Suppliers
  • Third sector
  • Supported Businesses

Our colleagues

  • UK Government Cabinet Office and Crown Commercial Service
  • Devolved Administrations
  • Scottish Futures Trust

2.4 Our Leadership and Consultation Roles

The following sections provide details on some of our leadership and consultation roles across the public sector including groups and forums.

2.5 The Public Procurement Group (PPG)

The PPG is the leadership group for public procurement across Scotland. It is made up of the heads of Procurement Centres of Expertise and senior Scottish Government procurement officials, who work together to set the strategic direction for public procurement in Scotland. The PPG has developed a set of public procurement priorities for all public sector procurement leaders. The PPG meets quarterly to review progress against these priorities and is supported by the following:

  • The Collaborative Leads Group;
  • The Procurement Policy Forum;
  • The Climate and Procurement Forum; and
  • The Professional Practice and Development Forum.

These forums alongside the Construction Leadership Forum and the Procurement Innovation Leadership Forum provide other means of collaborative, cross-sector engagement on policy, practice, information sharing and innovation.

2.6 The Procurement Supply Group (PSG)

The PSG is a collaborative group with representation from the Scottish Government and representative bodies for business and the third sector. It meets quarterly to discuss and influence public procurement policy and practices as these affect suppliers, in particular, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the third sector and supported businesses[1]. The PSG is consulted on key policy developments, issues that affect suppliers and procurement priorities, and helps to inform improvement opportunities.

2.6.1 Other Strategic Supplier Engagement and Support

We further engage with and support suppliers through direct engagement with representative bodies, the Supplier Development Programme, SME round tables, supplier surveys, forums and benchmarking. The Scottish Government is responsible for public procurement policy in Scotland and engages with the UK Government and other devolved administrations to share approaches and best practice.

Sphere of Influence[2]

What we can better control
  • National Legislation & Policy
  • SG-Led Contracts
  • SG Capability
  • SG Suppliers (KPIs)
What we can influence
  • Sector Policy
  • CG Contracts
Some influence or control
  • Supplier Capacity & Capability
  • Investment Decisions
  • Local Priorities
  • Customer Specifications
  • Local Capability
  • Supply Chains
  • Innovation
Outside our control & influence
  • Local Governance
  • Funding
  • Sector/Local Contracts
  • Local Capacity

2.7 Sustainable Procurement Duty

In accordance with the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (The Act), we need to think about, and act on, how each regulated[3] procurement process carried out by us can improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area in which it operates. We also facilitate the involvement of SMEs, third sector bodies and supported businesses, supporting innovation and acting on our findings.

We host a suite of sustainable procurement tools to enable ourselves and other public sector organisations to identify and address how they can optimise the economic, social and environmental outcomes of their procurement activity. More detail can be found in Appendix 1.

Compliance with the sustainable procurement duty ensures that procurement activity is aligned to priorities that are set out in the National Performance Framework. Compliance with the duty also helps us to meet other legal obligations on procurement including climate change, equality obligations and human rights.



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