Scottish procurement policy handbook

This handbook provides guidance on the rules and policies that apply to the procurement activities of public bodies in Scotland and highlights some key legal obligations.

19. Contract management

How a public body manages its contracts after the award stage can have a big impact on how successful it is in achieving its desired outcomes. Public bodies should work in partnership with suppliers throughout the delivery of contracts.

The mobilisation and implementation stage is an opportunity to maximise successful delivery of the contract. This can be achieved by:

  • agreeing a project plan with the supplier which has a strategic focus so that desired outcomes remain clear over the life of the contract and that continuous improvement can be achieved
  • working to enable smooth implementation of the contract.

A project plan should include:

  • all tasks to be completed and what and who is required to complete them
  • clear timescales and milestones related to the completion of tasks
  • how key information (including relevant policies) is going to be communicated and monitored consistently and effectively
  • regular reviews of costs, risks, quality and timescales
  • clear roles and responsibilities for different parties.

Doing this effectively can make it easier to manage ongoing contract delivery where regular and effective communication becomes key to maintaining the relationship. It can also help public bodies meet their obligations for publication of Annual Procurement Reports, evidencing how they have delivered their Procurement Strategy.

Public bodies can access a range of support to help increase the efficiency of contract management. This includes:

  • Procurement Journey – provides best practice guidance on contract management, which should be carried out proportionately based on the value and risk of the contract.
  • PCS - Tender – provides contract and supplier performance modules which public bodies can use to manage contracts and supplier performance, having tendered through PCS-T.
  • Professional Electronic Commerce Online System (PECOS) – reduces paperwork and enables more focus on performance by automating the purchase to pay (P2P) process from purchase order to invoice payment.
  • PECOS content manager – allows for the creation and management of electronic catalogues which encourage compliance with contracts and more consistently effective business practices.
  • P2P review service – gives an independent view on how to improve business and payment processes in a way which will make contracts easier to manage.
  • Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme (PCIP) – evaluates contract management as part of a wider assessment of a public body’s procurement capability, allowing for the development of an action plan to improve performance.



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