Scottish procurement: policy manual

Guidance on the procurement policies that apply to the Scottish Government.


  • Above GPA Threshold Regulations – namely, the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015; The Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016; The Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016
  • Bidder – used as a general term throughout the Manual to encompass bidders, tenderers and, in the case of restricted procedures, candidates
  • Client Guide to Construction Projects – guidance to assist public sector clients to procure and manage their construction projects
  • Construction Policy Notes (CPN) – construction policy and supplementary information issued by the Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate to public sector organisations and other relevant bodies on construction related matters
  • Contracts register – a register of contracts which includes, as a minimum, all Regulated Procurement contracts
  • Delegated Purchasing Authority (DPA) – the authority to conduct the process leading up to, and including, the award of a contract for goods, services and works
  • Delegated Purchasing Officer (DPO) – a member of staff with Delegated Purchasing Authority, who undertakes some procurement duties as part of their work, but is not a Procurement Officer. Appointing a DPO allows business areas the opportunity to manage their appropriate purchasing requirements locally
  • Electronic Purchasing Card (ePC) – a corporate charge card used for low value, ad-hoc purchases that are not covered by existing contracts or framework agreements for transactions of £5,000 (excluding VAT) or less
  • Electronic Record and Document Management (eRDM) – the Scottish Government's official electronic record and document management system
  • Framework agreement – an agreement between a contracting authority and one or more suppliers for the supply of specified goods, services or works over a period of time. The framework agreement has agreed terms and conditions, defined pricing structure and if appropriate quality requirements. The main difference between a framework agreement and a contract is that a framework does not state the quantity of the goods, services or works, or when they will be bought. Individual contracts specifying the quantity and timescale are awarded under the terms of the framework agreement.
  • GPA threshold – financial threshold values which are used to determine whether a public contract falls within the scope of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016 or the Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016. These threshold values are updated on the 1st of January every two years
  • Procurement Journey – guidance for public sector buyers who procure goods, services and care and support services
  • Procurement officer - an SPPD member of staff with Delegated Purchasing Authority, who undertakes procurement as the main function of their role
  • Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) – the Scottish Government's official national portal for public sector contract opportunities
  • Regulated Procurement – in relation to public contracts, procurements with an estimated value of £50,000 and above for goods and services and £2,000,000 and above for works contracts and which are not otherwise exempt from the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. Also see the ‘Procurement Journey and the Client Guide to Construction Projects’ section of this Manual
  • Scottish Procurement Policy Notes (SPPN) – procurement policy, guidance and legislation issued by the Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate to public sector organisations and other relevant bodies
  • Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM) – provides guidance to the Scottish Government and other relevant bodies on the proper handling and reporting of public funds
  • the Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016 – apply when a contracting authority is awarding a concession contract. A concession contract is a works or services contract which allows the contractor to exploit the works or services it provides in lieu of some or all payment from the contracting authority. An example of a works concession contracts might be the construction of a road, for which the supplier is allowed to charge users a toll. An example of a services concession contract might be the provision of café facilities in an office building, from which the contractor is allowed to generate and keep revenue. A contractor may receive some payment from the contracting authority under a concession contract, but must be exposed to a level of operating risk such that it is not guaranteed to recoup its investment
  • the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016 – apply when a contracting authority or public undertaking is awarding a contract for the purpose of helping it to carry out one of the activities listed in regulations 8 to 14 of those regulations. These activities include: the provision or operation of networks to supply gas, heat, drinking water or electricity, and the supply of gas, heat, drinking water or electricity to such networks; the provision or operation of networks for transport by railway, automated systems, tramway, trolley bus, bus or cable; the provision of airports, maritime ports, inland ports and other terminal facilities; the provision of postal services; and the exploitation of an area for the purpose of extracting oil, gas, coal or other solid fuels, and exploring for coal or other solid fuels



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