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.

9. Strategy Rationale and Context

The public sector in Scotland has been using sustainable public procurement to achieve wider social, economic and climate outcomes for nearly two decades. This is embedded in our policy, practice, culture, and through a substantial programme of activity across the public sector with impact evidenced in annual reports and independent research. Sustainable procurement outcomes in Scotland are defined as encompassing improvements to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of a community.

The drive to improve public procurement has involved a transition from a centrally led programme to a more collaborative landscape with a shared common vision, underpinned by the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (The Act). The Act provides clear direction to Scottish public bodies and sets out clear responsibilities and accountabilities, promoting local decision making to deliver sustainable public procurement.

The Scottish Government take account of wider legislation and policy which impact on the procurement process. We remain committed to doing more to continually improve procurement approaches and outcomes, assessing the effectiveness of steps already taken. By doing so, we ensure Scotland has innovative, world- leading legislation, policy and approaches.

The work we undertake is determined by a range of strategic drivers providing the services our customers need:

Procurement Strategic Drivers
Infographic details some of the strategic drivers which influence our procurement strategy. These include Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, the Program for Government, the National Performance Framework, the 4 Outcomes, Public Sector Reform, Customer Demand, Scottish Procurement Legislation, Scottish Government People Strategy, the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland and the Manifesto.

This strategy aligns with, and supports the delivery of, the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland, demonstrating our leadership and commitment to this unified vision and ambition.

The Scottish Government’s key priorities are centred on contributing to Scotland’s purpose of creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all to flourish, through increased wellbeing, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth. This is underpinned by the National Performance Framework (NPF), Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) and the annual Programme for Government which sets out the plan for policy delivery, public procurement priorities and legislation over the next year.

Our strategy continues to support the Scottish Government’s mission to address climate change, tackle child poverty, embed ethical procurement, and create sustainable public services that support the needs of the people of Scotland.

We ensure compliance with, and delivery of, the priorities through the Sustainable Procurement Duty as outlined in The Act. In accordance with The Act, we consider, and reflect in our sourcing strategies, how our regulated procurements[1] can improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the areas in which they operate. We also consider how our regulated procurements can facilitate the involvement of SMEs, third sector organisations and supported businesses in public sector procurement as well as promote innovation.

Compliance with the Sustainable Procurement Duty helps to ensure that procurement activity is aligned to priorities that are set out in the NPF and helps us to meet other legal obligations on procurement including climate change, equality obligations and human rights.

We host a suite of Sustainable Procurement Tools enabling ourselves and other public bodies to identify and address how they can optimise the economic, social and environmental considerations in contracts. This in turn shows how procurement activity contributes to the National Outcomes and Scotland’s NSET. More detail on the Sustainable Procurement Tools can be found in Appendix 1.

Public Sector Reform

The Scottish Government recognise the need to evolve the way in which we deliver public services in order to continue helping people lead positive lives. The Scottish Government are setting out an ambitious ten-year programme of reform. The aims and ambitions of this programme will be supported by and through procurement and we will continue to work collaboratively with public, private and third sector partners, ensuring procurement services reflect the diverse needs of our people, communities and businesses and help tackle some of the biggest issues facing Scotland.



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