Introduction, scope and legal framework
This manual provides guidance on the procurement policies that apply to Scottish Government (SG) procurement activity. The manual also highlights some key legal obligations and considerations. The manual is mandatory for core Scottish Government and any other body where their Framework document or other express agreement with SG specifies this Manual is applicable. As mandated in the Scottish Public Finance Manual, Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) should follow the principles set out in the SG procurement policy manual, but may have different documented procedures and procesesses in place (e.g. in relation to NCA approvals, epc procedures, records management systems and DPA levels). We also strongly encourage other SG sponsored bodies to follow the principles of the manual, and regardless, they should comply with the Scottish Procurement Policy Handbook, which is applicable to the wider Scottish public sector.
Public sector procurement in Scotland takes place within a framework of rules and this manual should be read in conjunction with these rules, which includes the following:
- Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014
- the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015
- the Procurement (Scotland) Regulations 2016
And if conducting Concessions or Utilities procurements (see Glossary), then the following:
- the Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016
- the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016
Please note that failure to comply with the legislation and policies as set out in this manual may result in formal challenges and complaints being brought against the Scottish Government alleging a breach of these rules. The consequences of a successful challenge may, depending on the nature of the breach, result in the Scottish Government being fined; the duration of a contract being shortened; award of damages against the Scottish Government; and reputational damage to the Scottish Government.
SPPD must be notified by business areas of any correspondence from suppliers’ legal representatives challenging the procurement process or contract award decision. Any such correspondence must be saved to the appropriate electronic Record and Document Management system (eRDM) folder and forwarded to the SPPD mailbox.
This manual should be read in conjunction with the above mentioned legislation and:
- the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014: statutory guidance
- the Public sector procurement webpages, where specifically referenced in this manual
- the Client Guide to Construction Projects - which provides specific policy and guidance for public sector contracting authorities on the procurement of construction related contracts
- the Procurement Journey – provides guidance, best practice and templates for public sector contracting authorities on the procurement of goods, services and care and support services
- the Sustainable Procurement Tools - designed to help public sector organisations identify and address how they can optimise the economic, social and environmental outcomes of their procurement activity
- other guidance or tool updates issued by Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate, including Scottish Procurement Policy Notes - which provide updates on legal and procurement policy developments
The guidance set out in this manual and the rules set out in the Scottish Public Finance Manual are designed to ensure that procurement activity is:
- focused on the delivery of Value for Money (VfM)
- conducted to high professional standards and to the relevant legal requirements
- conducted by appropriately trained and authorised staff to minimise the risk of legal challenge to the Scottish Ministers
In addition, to help us achieve the aims and priorities of our National Performance Framework, we are expected to conduct our procurement activities in a way which is:
- good for businesses and their employees
- good for society
- good for places and communities
- open and connected
These outcomes underpin our Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland (PPSS). The PPSS, which is based around the National Performance Framework, provides a high-level vision and direction for Scottish public procurement which the Scottish Government and all public sector bodies can align to and deliver against.
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