Our Cabinet Secretary highlights the importance of community benefits in supporting economic recovery.
Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, has recently written to Chief Officers in the public sector as part of Scottish Government’s response to the report ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): measures to mitigate the labour market impacts’ and reiterates the valuable role that public procurement plays.
The letter highlights that, “through the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, specifically the sustainable procurement duty and use of community benefit requirements, we all recognise the contribution of public procurement in achieving Scotland’s purpose and outcomes, including the ambition for our citizens to be well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society.”
The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to have a significant effect on the people of Scotland, Miss Forbes encourages public bodies to build on previous good practice to support the recovery. “Community benefits are a key mechanism that public bodies in Scotland have used for many years to enable improvements in economic, social and environmental wellbeing.”
As the economic consequences of COVID-19 are expected to disproportionately affect young people, women and vulnerable groups, Miss Forbes thanks public bodies for their efforts to date in using community benefits in procurement. Reaffirming the need to continue to use these requirements and other positive procurement interventions to mitigate the negative impacts on those who are most likely to be adversely affected.
Finally, Miss Forbes emphasises that “collectively we can and must use public procurement in Scotland to help give the best chance of a strong recovery for people and businesses throughout the country.”