Scottish Government procurement strategy: April 2022 to March 2024

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

5. Strategic Aims and Objectives

Each strategic objective can be aligned with more than one outcome, some with all of them. For the purpose of this strategy, each objective is aligned with the outcome it impacts most.

Good for Businesses and their Employees

5.1 Strategic aim

Maximise the impact of procurement to boost a green and inclusive economic recovery.


5.1.1 Work collaboratively with key partners to support the Supply Chains Development Programme, targeting key sectors of the economy critical to a green and inclusive economic recovery where we see opportunities for increased Scottish manufacturing and increased resilience.

5.1.4 Working across the industry and government to support post-pandemic recovery.

5.1.2 For post-pandemic recovery, issue Construction Policy Notes as and when necessary to assist and guide public sector organisations involved in construction projects.

5.1.5 We will continue to work with UK Government colleagues and other devolved administrations to share approaches and leverage good practice.

5.1.3 Continue to improve prompt payment in the supply chain for public sector contracts, including the use, where appropriate, of project bank accounts.

5.2 Strategic aim

Promote and enable innovation through Procurement. A short video on innovation through procurement is available to view.


5.2.1 Create and embed supplier-led National Innovation Service[4] inclusive of triage, assessment and delivery.

5.2.2 Continue to adopt an innovative and flexible approach to the procurement of Digital Services through the use of Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) building on existing arrangements for Digital Technology Services, Telephony Services, Network Advice and Internet of Things[5].

5.2.3 Continue to use Digital Commercial Service and other projects to allow Scottish Government and the wider public sector to create new innovative services. These services may benefit from new and innovative procurement/commercial models and digital technologies. Continuing to provide high quality engagement with industry, improving supplier understanding, supplier numbers and quality of submissions.

5.2.4 Lead and support the Procurement Innovation Leadership Group to improve outcomes of procurement activity and the impact of public sector budgets relating to innovation.

5.2.5 Create guidance for suppliers and buyers for innovation.

5.2.6 Support the CivTech Programme expansion which includes; improving access to procurement opportunities for business including SMEs by enabling CivTech alumni companies easier and immediate access to appropriate procurement routes such as DPS or national frameworks such as the Software Value Added Reseller Framework.

5.2.7 Develop Public Contracts Scotland (PCS):

promote industry involvement in innovation in the public sector through improved transparency;

improve innovation processes;

promote innovation in contracts through the use of the sustainable procurement duty; and enable reporting of innovation at a local and national level.

5.2.8 Consider innovation for all regulated procurements, continuing to innovate procurement processes to broaden engagement of SMEs. Working with other parts of government and the public sector, to create innovative procurement/funding models.

Good for Places and Communities

5.3 Strategic aim

Continue to use public procurement as a means to drive wellbeing by creating quality employment and skills and providing opportunities for Scottish SMEs, third sector and supported businesses to bid for public contracts and to participate in public sector supply chains.


5.3.1 Ensure that we maximise the impact of procurement in achieving social and economic outcomes across Scotland.

5.3.2 Develop and maintain a framework of procurement policy and legislation that supports Scottish Government purpose, a green and inclusive recovery and longer-term wellbeing - researching and benchmarking opportunities for improvement and setting out recommendations to drive change.

5.3.3 Actively consider socio-economic outcomes early in procurements and commissioning activity, and take action to create employment and training opportunities and opportunities for our indigenous private and third sector businesses.

5.3.4 Build and enable diverse and resilient supply chains.

5.3.5 Consider community benefit opportunities at the development stage of our regulated procurements and where appropriate, request either mandatory or voluntary community benefits.

5.3.6 Support the principles of the No One Left Behind delivery plan through targeted equality and employability-related Community Benefits in Procurement.

5.3.7 Improve commercial opportunities for supported businesses and drive increased uptake of national frameworks.

5.4 Strategic aim

To advance towards net zero emissions by 2045: decarbonising our homes, buildings, and transport, and restoring and protecting our natural environment in a just and fair way.


5.4.1 Ensure that Climate Change and Circular Economy considerations are at the heart of all our activities.

5.4.2 Challenge whether we buy, what we buy and how much we buy, as well as considering how we buy.

5.4.3 In line with the Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party - Shared Policy Programme, we will actively consider the impacts of Climate Change and related environmental considerations early in procurements and commissioning activity, and apply relevant criteria in all procurement processes, where relevant and proportionate to do so.

5.4.4 Use and promote our sustainable procurement tools including the Climate Literacy e-learning and case studies to build understanding and encourage action across the public, private and third sector.

5.4.5 Work with markets and our supply chains to ensure they are committed and actively engaged in supporting a Just Transition to net zero.

5.4.6 Drive uptake of our best-in-class national frameworks to facilitate procurement of environmentally-friendly goods, works and services.

5.4.7 Drive uptake of the Non Domestic Energy Efficiency (NDEE) Frameworks.

5.4.8 Continue to provide access to green energy for public bodies for use on the public estate.

5.4.9 Complete the drafting of the Scottish Government’s new sustainable construction procurement policy[6] and supporting guidance for inclusion in The Client Guide to construction projects.

5.4.10 Engage leaders and encourage a whole systems approach to achieve maximum impact.

Good for Society

5.5 Strategic aim

Fair Work First - Our vision is that by 2025, people in Scotland will have a world-leading working life where Fair Work drives success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society. Fair Work First including security of pay and contracts, flexible working and targeted recruitment and training requirements, is the main way in which we use public procurement to tackle in-work poverty and by extension, child poverty.


5.5.1 The Scottish Government is committed to using sustainable procurement to reach its ambition of becoming a Fair Work Nation by 2025.

5.5.2 Deliver the Fair Work Action Plan procurement-related commitments, developing and maintaining relevant procurement policy and guidance.

5.5.3 Update our Client Guide to construction projects to reflect and help deliver Fair Work First obligations.

5.5.4 Actively consider Fair Work First early in procurements and commissioning activity and apply the Fair Work First criteria in all procurement processes, where relevant and proportionate to do so.

5.5.5 Mandate the real Living Wage in all new and relevant Scottish Government public contracts and encourage others to adopt this approach.

5.5.6 Continue to record all commitments made by suppliers on Fair Work outcomes and commitments to pay the real Living Wage in our contracts and frameworks. This includes asking bidders if they are signatories to the Scottish Business Pledge and Living Wage accredited.

5.5.7 The National Care Service for Scotland will improve the delivery of social care services and employment conditions for social care workers who deliver those services. We will support the development of a National Commissioning and Procurement Structure of Standards and Processes to embed Fair Work, climate and circular economy considerations and other principles in an ethical approach to commissioning and procurement of care and support.

5.6 Strategic aim

Boost sustainable and socio-economic outcomes through our investment in construction and infrastructure.


5.6.1 Support the Scottish Government infrastructure investment plan to drive ambitious infrastructure investment projects, create jobs, help business and support delivery of better and modern public services and growth in the Scottish economy. The project pipeline is available online.

5.6.2 Participate in the Construction Leadership Forum increasing collaborative enterprise between government and industry, delivering a more sustainable, productive and innovative industry.

This includes supporting development of the Construction Accord and developing a Just Transition Plan, aligned to the Scottish Government’s National Just Transition Planning Framework.

5.6.3 Publish the Civil Engineering Framework driving the use of local supply chains, SMEs (including supported businesses where appropriate) and prompt payment.

5.6.4 Create a portfolio of frameworks delivering a range of construction activity across the public sector which considers the economic impact and the sustainability of the construction industry and the requirement for inclusive growth and climate change targets.

Open and Connected

5.7 Strategic aim

Ensure procurement in Scotland is open, transparent and connected.


5.7.1 Deliver a procurement Management Information platform to further improve data standards, and demonstrate the impact of public sector procurement on Scotland’s economy - identifying opportunities to maximise delivery of outcomes at a local and national level.

5.7.2 Set and maintain procurement and commercial standards for Scotland and lead the professionalisation agenda to ensure that we have the skills and capability we need today and tomorrow to deliver on our ambitions.

5.7.3 Remain connected internationally to benchmark and support the development of best practice.

5.7.4 Develop a refreshed eCommerce and Management Information Strategy, providing a long-term digital enablement and Management Information roadmap.

5.7.5 Work in collaboration across the Scottish public sector to create a National Procurement Strategy.

5.7.6 Continue to support suppliers through direct engagement with representative bodies, the Supplier Development Programme, SME round tables, supplier surveys, forums and benchmarking.

5.7.7 Through managing and developing our communication channels and opportunities, engage with our audiences and stakeholder base to communicate and promote guidance, improve knowledge and understanding, promote best practice and champion the impact of public sector procurement in Scotland.



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