The Scottish Government Procurement Strategy April 2024 – March 2028

The Scottish Government's procurement strategy describes how we plan to carry out our regulated procurements for the next four years.

10. Strategic Aims and Objectives

The NPF measures and keeps track of how Scotland is performing. It aims to reduce inequalities and gives equal importance to economic, social and environmental progress. Its values have been incorporated into our core Scottish Government values to guide our approach to government and public services in Scotland.

Our purpose: To focus on creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through increased wellbeing, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Our values: We are a society which treats all our people with kindness, dignity and compassion, respects the rule of law, and acts in an open and transparent way.

  • We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination
  • We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy
  • We are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally
  • We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally
  • We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential
  • We are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society
  • We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone
  • We are healthy and active
  • We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment
  • We are creative and our vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely

#GoodForBusinessesAndEmployees #GoodForSociety #GoodForPlacesAndCommunities #OpenAndConnected

For Procurement and Property, these have been distilled into our 4 Outcomes through which we aim to ensure that all our actions are:

  • Good for Businesses and their Employees
  • Good for Society
  • Good for Places and Communities
  • Open and Connected

Our Purpose: To use our collective spending power to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth

#GoodForBusinessesAndEmployees #GoodForSociety #GoodForPlacesAndCommunities #OpenAndConnected

Maximise the impact of procurement to boost a green, inclusive and wellbeing economy, promoting and enabling innovation in procurement.

10.1 Good for Businesses and their Employees


  • Promote early supplier engagement to foster innovative and entrepreneurial responses to public sector needs and requirements.
  • Collaborate with organisations to deliver positive, green and inclusive social impacts within public contracts. Have a holistic approach with key suppliers.

We will:

10.1.1 Continue to lead and embed the supplier- led National Innovation Service, Scotland Innovates, inclusive of triage, assessment and delivery. Support the implementation of the National Innovation Strategy by taking forward “high potential” projects via Scotland Innovates and continue to support the CivTech Programme expansion.

10.1.2 Lead and support the Procurement Innovation Leadership Group to improve outcomes of procurement activity and the impact of public sector budgets relating to innovation. Promote SPPN 3/2023 and provide further guidance covering the innovation life cycle. Consider innovation for all regulated procurements and continue to innovate procurement processes to broaden engagement of SMEs. Work with other parts of government and the public sector to create innovative procurement and funding models where applicable.

10.1.3 Continue to adopt an innovative and flexible approach to the procurement of Digital Services through the use of DPS, building on existing arrangements for Digital Technology Services, Telephony Services, Network Advice and Internet of Things.

10.1.4 Engage with corporate governance systems to promote early commercial checkpoints and engagement with procurement and other professions/experts in planning and scoping stages of corporate projects and programs to enable an all-systems approach, maximising the impact of procurement.

10.1.5 Engage with public, private and third sector to test, challenge and inform our policies, strategies, tools and approaches to ensure that we maximise the impact of procurement on inclusive and sustainable outcomes – gathering and acting on evidence of our impact to drive continuous improvement.

10.1.6 Conduct public procurement surveys and other research as appropriate, in relation to a number of key strategic topics of importance to Scottish public sector procurement to test impact and inform continuous improvement.

10.1.7 Develop guidance and tools to establish ethical procurement standards and to enable market shaping within the adult social care market.

Supply chain and resilience

Encourage a sustainable supply base that can support the work of the public sector to provide resilient and robust supply chains.

Develop appropriate relationships and put forward looking plans in place to support the development of the supply markets, improving security of supply and reducing risk.

We will:

10.1.8 Support the development of diverse, responsible and resilient supply chains, maximising opportunities to open up our supply chains for suppliers of all sizes to compete, and creating or expanding markets where necessary to deliver public services. Work with relevant partners including other public bodies, local economic development, enterprise organisations and key industry bodies as appropriate, to prioritise and target efforts.

10.1.9 Work collaboratively with key partners to support the Supply Chain 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.

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

SMEs, third sector and supported businesses

Consider how procurements are conducted and contracts are developed, to reduce barriers and enable participation for SMEs, third sector organisations, and supported businesses, in public sector procurement.

We will:

10.1.11 Use our market knowledge, systems and processes to improve access and will split large requirements into specialist or geographical lots to open up opportunities for SMEs, and where appropriate, apply lot-limiting or multi-supplier strategies to ensure a fairer share of business.

10.1.12 Develop and deliver the SME and third sector action plan to increase suppliers’ awareness and ability to engage with public sector procurement in Scotland.

10.1.13 Continue to work with supported businesses across Scotland to realise their potential of accessing and winning public contracts, through the use of reserved contracts and other mechanisms. Investigate ways to increase uptake of our DPS which continues to provide Scottish public bodies and third sector organisations with a route to market for a range of goods and services reserved for and provided by supported businesses.

10.1.14 Continue to support the Just Enterprise Business Support Programme, a core element of which is supporting third sector organisations with procurement and tender writing.

10.1.15 Continue promotion of our one-stop-shop Guidance on Public Procurement for SMEs and Third Sector Suppliers providing access to comprehensive and joined-up resources, supporting suppliers to submit winning bids for public sector contracts.

Contract management

Carry out ongoing proportional contract management to ensure the right outcomes are delivered and the performance of contracts is maximised.

We will:

10.1.16 Take a proportionate approach to managing our collaborative frameworks, providing information and support to contracting authorities to enable call-offs and Contract and Supplier Management (CSM) at a local level.

10.1.17 Work closely with our providers of gas, electricity and water to ensure sustainability of supply and manage risk in complex and volatile markets through regular review meetings and strategic supplier management.

10.1.18 Improve commercial capability of those responsible for contract management across core Scottish Government through training, guidance and templates.

10.1.19 Provide support and commercial advice to contract managers as required, for the delivery of contract outcomes with a particular focus on strategic contracts including mobilisation, exit and modifications.

10.1.20 Explore the role of contract and supplier management in ensuring social care services are high quality and financially viable. Develop guidance to support the effective use of contract management to mitigate against quality and sustainability risks.

10.1.21 Continue to provide public bodies access to PCS- Tender which can be used to manage their contracts and suppliers electronically.

10.2 Good for Places and Communities

Maximise the impact of procurement with strong community engagement and development to deliver social and economic outcomes as a means to drive wellbeing by creating quality employment and skills.

Community Wealth Building – Fair Work First and community benefits

Maximise economic and social benefits through procurement and commissioning, applying fair work practices, developing good enterprises, and secure supply chains.

We will:

10.2.1 Maximise the impact of public procurement through progressive procurement policy and practice as a key pillar of our Community Wealth Building approach – working closely with public, private and third sector partners – driving consistency of application, leveraging collaborative buying power, and promoting opportunities to advance sustainability, including climate action, Fair Work, and community benefits through public supply chains.

10.2.2 Where relevant and proportionate, actively consider socio-economic outcomes early in procurements and commissioning activity and take action to create good employment and training opportunities that protect and assure workers’ rights and opportunities for our indigenous, private and third sector organisations.

10.2.3 Develop and maintain a progressive 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. This will include using the responses to the Spending Pillar of the Community Wealth Building consultation to inform policy development and implementation.

10.2.4 Use sustainable procurement to contribute to the Scottish Government ambition of becoming a Fair Work Nation by 2025 by delivering on procurement-related Fair Work Action Plan commitments. This includes developing and maintaining relevant procurement policy and guidance and launching and supporting roll out of Fair Work First and procurement eLearning to drive local action.

10.2.5 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. This requires the payment of at least the real Living Wage in all new and relevant Scottish Government public contracts and also encourages others to adopt this approach.

10.2.6 Improve the delivery of social care services and employment conditions for social care workers who deliver those services through ethical procurement. Develop ethical procurement guidance and tools to embed Fair Work, climate and circular economy considerations and a person-led approach to social care support, to enable improvements both in advance of, and when the National Care Service for Scotland is delivered.

10.2.7 Support the principles of the No One Left Behind delivery plan through targeted equality and employability-related community benefits in procurement.

Support a sustainable built environment

Maximise opportunities in procurement to develop, enhance and maintain a sustainable built environment.

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.

Ensure construction projects reflect and help deliver all pertinent Scottish Government obligations including Fair Work First and Net Zero. Actively consider issues including but not limited to Fair Work First and Net Zero early in procurements and commissioning activity.

We will:

10.2.8 Deliver a more efficient approach to public sector property management through the new Single Scottish Estate programme, saving public funds, reducing the public sector property footprint, and enabling progress towards our net zero targets. Lead pan-public organisation strategic estates reviews and planning to optimise the Ministers’ estate portfolio reflecting changes in ways of working, technology and supporting staff to have great places to work and deliver well. Maintain close links with public sector reform to enable improvements in delivery of services to the public.

10.2.9 Update our Client Guide to Construction Projects to reflect and help deliver Fair Work First obligations.

10.2.10 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.

10.2.11 Participate in the Construction Leadership Forum increasing collaborative enterprise between government and industry, delivering a more sustainable, productive and innovative industry. This includes the Construction Accord and supporting a Just Transition Plan for Built Environment and Construction, aligned to the Scottish Government’s National Just Transition Planning Framework. We are leading construction procurement reform work under the Construction Accord, engaging with industry and buyers to develop and deliver the Accord Transformation Action Plan.

10.2.12 Support the Civil Engineering Framework to drive the use of local supply chains, SMEs (including supported businesses where appropriate) and prompt payment. This includes the introduction of a Civil Engineering DPS for procurements up to £5 million.

10.2.13 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.

10.2.14 Digitise the Client Guide to Construction Projects to improve its presentation and enhance the user experience by making it easier to access, navigate and search.

Whole life costing

Promote sustainable procurement through routine consideration of whole life costing to ensure value for money in procurement, minimise environmental damage and maximise socio- economic benefits.

We will:

10.2.15 Through the Scotland Innovates service, conduct a pilot exercise with a view to create a national specification and process for circular economy of lighting including the use of embodied carbon within the evaluation process.

10.2.16 Review, update and promote our Whole Life Costing guidance.

Community participation

Engage with communities to understand local needs and requirements to help shape procurement policies, initiatives and contracts.

We will:

10.2.17 Continue to use the full flexibility of the rules to use public procurement to achieve wider economic and social outcomes. Focus on what and where we can do things better or indeed do things differently, particularly on local practice.

10.2.18 Explore any procurement opportunities to deliver on the Scottish Government’s Community Wealth Building aspirations.

10.2.19 Consider the community benefits required by specific communities during the development of our commodity and service strategies. Work closely with the people who use the goods, services and works we buy, to help understand their requirements and the markets we work in.

Climate crisis and environment

Make informed decisions as we engage early with suppliers to create innovative solutions to positively respond to the climate crisis.

Eliminate waste throughout the supply chain where possible.

Act in a way that will secure net zero emissions through a Just Transition and promotes a circular economy.

We will:

10.2.20 Engage leaders to encourage a whole systems approach to achieve maximum impact, working with relevant stakeholders to challenge whether we buy, what we buy and how much we buy, which can have a bigger impact on emissions and waste than how we buy.

10.2.21 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.

10.2.22 Work with targeted markets and supply chains to ensure they are committed and actively engaged in reducing climate impacts, working towards net zero and are building resilience to the impacts of the changing climate.

10.2.23 Ensure that we take a proportionate approach to embedding climate requirements so that we bring SME and third sector suppliers on the journey to net zero as part of a just transition.

10.2.24 Use and promote our sustainable procurement policy and tools, including the Climate Literacy and Circular Economy eLearning, the Client Guide to Construction Projects and case studies to build understanding and encourage action across the public, private and third sector.

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

10.2.26 Continue to provide access to Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin and Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin for public bodies for use on the public estate.

10.2.27 Update our statutory guidance under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and provide mentoring on climate considerations for a range of priority procurement projects.

10.2.28 Review effective ways to monitor supply chain emissions across the public sector supply chain to demonstrate progress in reducing emissions.

10.3 Good for Society

Ensure that we are efficient, effective and forward thinking through continuous improvement to help achieve a fairer and more equal society.

Economic wellbeing

Make conscious and considered decisions that achieve best value and aims to establish practices and contracts that support the people and organisations of Scotland.

In addition to the targeted procurement policies addressed elsewhere in section 10 to enable economic wellbeing, we will:

10.3.1 Use our national procurement policy, systems and tools to enable innovation in and through procurement.

10.3.2 Continue to support Scotland Innovates and the CivTech programme, to help identify and develop potential solutions that will address public sector and societal challenges, working with innovative businesses and helping to support economic growth.

Emergency situations

Procurement has been critical in responding to previous emergencies and humanitarian situations, and will strive to provide innovative, effective and efficient responses to future emergency situations.

We will:

10.3.3 Continue to respond to critical events and situations, working with colleagues across the public, private and third sectors to provide co-ordinated and appropriate assistance as required. This includes ensuring higher risk, bottlenecks and vulnerable suppliers are identified and delivering targeted action, delivering sustainable procurement policies and applying lessons learned.

10.3.4 Continue to support economic recovery as a result of critical events (e.g. pandemics/world-wide conflicts).

Food security

Ensure high standards of animal welfare and sustainable production and waste reductions through the procurement process to improve community health, wellbeing and education.

We will:

10.3.5 Make sure we adhere to government policies on healthy eating and nutrition, promoting fresh, seasonal and fairly-traded produce and to UK buying standards. These standards take account of factors including production, traceability, authenticity, origin, ethical trading, animal welfare, environmental standards and health and waste.

10.3.6 Contribute to the Good Food Nation vision, where people benefit from and take pride and pleasure in the food they produce, buy, serve and eat daily.

10.3.7 Promote and provide healthy, enjoyable and sustainable options as the norm on Scottish Government menus.

10.3.8 Use procurement levers to support a variety of food producers.

10.3.9 Reduce avoidable food waste as much as possible and ensure that unavoidable food waste is disposed of in a sustainable manner.

10.4 Open and Connected

Ensure procurement in Scotland is open, transparent and connected at local, national and international levels.

Global reach

Remain connected to support development of best practice.

We will:

10.4.1 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.

10.4.2 Manage and develop our communication channels and stakeholder engagement strategy to identify and promote best practice and champion the positive impact of public sector procurement in Scotland.

10.4.3 Continue to work with UK Government colleagues and other devolved administrations to share approaches and leverage good practice.

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

10.4.5 Identify and share good practice with our procurement stakeholders when procuring social care services.


We will strive for an ease of doing business with the public sector and for the public sector to be able to easily do business with our suppliers.

Take advantage of opportunities to develop and improve the data, management information and systems, while leveraging automation and future technologies.

We will:

10.4.6 Continue our commitment to being transparent about how we spend public money and demonstrating accountability by publishing information about our procurement spend, approach and impact.

10.4.7 Enable public procurement across Scotland to achieve its strategic objectives by delivering a fully integrated digital and best practice service.

10.4.8 We will deliver a management information platform which will provide a suite of tools to enhance the reporting capability across Scottish Government and the wider Scottish public sector. The platform will demonstrate the impact of public sector procurement on Scotland’s economy through identifying opportunities to maximise delivery of outcomes at a local and national level.

10.4.9 Continue to engage with industry representatives and suppliers through the PSG, Meet the Buyer events, supplier round tables, supplier surveys and industry forums to test and inform policy and approaches.


Promote consistent use of tools, platforms and systems, processes, guidance and templates.

We will:

10.4.10 Drive local consistency of procurement practice through national policy guidance, tools, training and support.

10.4.11 Develop a suite of guidance and tools to support consistent good practice in the procurement of social care services and support.



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