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.

13. Supplier Engagement and Contract Management

13.1 Supplier Engagement

We are continuously developing new ways to engage with the supplier community. We consult through a number of mediums including round tables, conferences, forums and representative groups such as the PSG.

We have a comprehensive and joined- up set of tools, policy support and guidance which together help simplify our processes and enable buyers and suppliers to access procurement information and opportunities more easily. These include the Supplier Journey, the Client Guide to Construction Projects, and PCS which are summarised in Appendix 2.

Procurement Process - Supplier Engagement

13.2 SMEs, Third Sector and Supported Businesses

SMEs, the third sector and supported businesses are critical to the social, economic and environmental health of Scotland and we are committed to leveraging the full procurement rules to make it as easy as possible for them to bid for and win public procurement contracts and/or participate in local supply chains. We consider how our procurements are conducted and how contracts are developed, to reduce barriers and enable participation of SMEs, third sector organisations and supported businesses in public sector procurement.

We collaboratively developed one-stop- shop Guidance on Public Procurement for SMEs and Third Sector Suppliers for businesses and third sector organisations on how to access, bid for and win public contracts, signposting a comprehensive and joined up suite of resources to support suppliers which we will continue to promote.

All regulated procurements are advertised using PCS and we are committed to reviewing the processes and policies of lower value procurements for accessibility for SMEs. We will also use our market knowledge, systems and processes to improve access and will split large requirements into specialist or geographical lots to open the opportunities to SMEs, and where appropriate, apply lot-limiting or multi- supplier strategies to ensure a fairer share of business.

In accordance with our commitments in the action plans that underpin Scotland’s Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-2026, we will 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.

We will continue to offer advice, workshops and learning through the Business Support for the Third Sector contract (currently delivered through the Just Enterprise consortium) as part of a coherent ecosystem of business support for social enterprise. Third sector organisations also benefit from the free training, support and information available from the Supplier Development Programme.

We will explore amendments to the light touch process in response to recommendations related to the role of the third sector in the delivery of adult social care.

13.3 Supply Chain Development Programme

Economic Development, Procurement and Enterprise teams are collaborating to drive the Supply Chain Development Programme in key sectors of the economy where we see genuine sustainable economic potential. Its purpose is to make sure that procurement opportunities are made visible to Scottish supply chains, including manufacturers in Scotland with the skills, capacity and capability to bid for, win and deliver contracts.

13.4 Contract Management

Effective engagement with our suppliers through early market engagement and ongoing contract management is critical to delivering outcomes through procurement.

Contract managers must complete the mandatory Contract and Supplier Management (CSM) essentials eLearning module before contract handover. Further interactive training is available with each additional module covering a specialist topic:

  • Project Management and Planning;
  • Contract Process;
  • Contract Documentation;
  • Performance Management;
  • Financial Management; and
  • Stakeholder and Supplier Management.

A dedicated team provide support and guidance to those who manage Scottish Government contracts. However, contract management responsibility is devolved to individual business areas. Help is available with:

  • contract handover and implementation;
  • contract management training;
  • contract dispute resolution;
  • contract variations and extensions;
  • commercial support in supplier meetings;
  • supplier financial checks, insurance and business probity; and
  • supplier performance data and benefits tracking.



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