Public Procurement and Property

Scottish organisations shortlisted at the UK National GO Awards 2021

August 18, 2021 by No Comments | Category Best practice, Go Awards National, Procurement news, SMEs, suppliers, UK National GO awards

The Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards are the chance for the UK procurement community to come together to celebrate the very best procurement achievements from across the UK’s public, private and third sector organisations.

A number of Scottish organisations have been shortlisted as Finalists at the 2021 awards, demonstrating the #PowerOfProcurement here in Scotland. In this blog post, we will take a look at the Scottish finalists and find out more about how their procurement activity demonstrates best practice, innovation and sustainability.

“Right now, procurement is playing a vital role in the delivery of public services – against the most challenging circumstances it has ever faced and organisations are facing incredible demands. This year the GO Awards matter more than ever, to recognise those making great procurement happen.”

Grahame Steed
Lead Judge, UK National GO Awards

The Scottish finalists at the awards demonstrate excellence in public procurement from a range of diverse industries, from manufacturing to education.

Grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy reading these inspiring case studies!


Category: COVID-19 Outstanding Response Award – Private Sector Organisations

Finalist: ICL Tech Ltd

Background: ICL Tech Ltd, a SME Glasgow-based plastics manufacturer, supplies multiple industries including automotive, aerospace, banking & renewable energy.

Activity: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ICL tech Ltd. quickly switched its operations and undertook rapid innovation, bringing staff back off furlough, to design and develop a completely new product – reusable, medical grade face shields. Using newly established NHS/COVID-19 supply chain channels and direct contact with hospitals, ICL Tech Ltd. was able to have a prototype approved within 24 hours – and have orders dispatched in the same week.

Wider benefits: Additional employees were brought out of furlough to quickly ramp up production to 3,000+ visors per day. Production capacity now stands at 10,000+ per day thanks to the strength of the team and support from the Scottish supplier base. The success of the visors initiative led to dynamic development of other PPE and non-medical protective products partnerships and agreements. A new strand of the business ‘TechPPE’ was established, now with nine products in the range and several more in development. TechPPE has now supplied over 251,000 visors to 10 NHS Trusts and 28 Scottish care homes.


Category: Procurement Team of the Year – Other Organisations

Finalist: City of Glasgow College (CoGC)

Background: CoGC is the largest Further Education Institution in Scotland with a portfolio of over 2,600 courses across a wide variety of areas which can be studied in various modes. With 10,500 full-time students, 15,500 part-time students and approximately 1,100 FTE members of staff CoGC grows from strength to strength.

Activity: Collectively the CoCG Procurement Team manage a spend profile of £10 million consisting of spend on goods, works and services. Following a 2015 procurement review, the team identified areas of improvement including: Increased Collaborative Spend; Reduced Non-Compliant Spend and Increased use of ePurchasing.

Wider benefits: Whilst implementing changes within the identified areas for improvement, the team also had to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic and worked tirelessly to monitor all college spend and identify opportunities for savings.


Category: Social Value

Finalist: Perth and Kinross Council (PKC)

Background: PKC encompasses highland and lowland landscapes totalling 5,286 sq. km, inhabited by a population of 138,400. The area is characterised by a diverse mix of rural and urban – from the main population centre of Perth to extremely remote communities such as Kinloch Rannoch.

Activity: PKC is committed to securing Community Benefits from all contracts wherever possible. The main aim of the of the Community Benefits project was to strengthen links between the work that businesses, charities and third sector organisations were doing in PKC’s communities with what the respective communities really needed. As such, the Community Wish List was born!

Wider benefits: An online wish list and map allows communities to tell PKC what they really need. This is published online (here is an example of the latest wish list) and within contract tender submission documentation so suppliers can see current specific requirements of local communities – and how they can provide benefits to match these requirements. This short video explains more about the success of the project so far.


Category: Best Contract Delivery

Finalist: Warmworks Scotland Contributing organisation: Scottish Government

Background: Warmworks Scotland is a joint venture partnership between Changeworks, Everwarm and Energy Saving Trust that was set up in 2015 to deliver the Scottish Government’s national fuel poverty scheme, Warmer Homes Scotland. The scheme provides insulation, efficient heating and renewable technologies in the homes of people across Scotland who are struggling with the cost of high energy bills. The scheme receives up to £32 million per year of Scottish Government funding and is a key part of the Scottish Government’s aim to tackle fuel poverty and make energy more affordable for all.

Activity: Because Warmworks was set up to deliver this programme, it is the first such contract that Warmworks has administered. The contract awarded to Warmworks was for an initial five-year term, with a possible extension of two years. An extension of this contract was awarded to Warmworks in November 2019, a year early, underscoring the Scottish Government’s faith in Warmworks to provide quality, first-class service delivery.

Wider benefits: As part of this contract extension, Warmworks and the Scottish Government collaboratively agreed to increase employability and community benefit targets, building on the success of the previous five years in this area. In addition, a number of new renewable technologies were also added as part of the energy saving measures that could be offered under the scheme, which extended the range of services that Warmworks and its SME supply chain are contracted to deliver.


Category: Best Procurement Delivery – Local Government

Finalist: North Lanarkshire Council Early Learning and Childcare Contract, supported by the Supplier Development Programme

Background: The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is a business support initiative that aims to improve competitiveness of local businesses in public sector tendering. North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) was required by Scottish Government, under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, to provide a funded placement, of 1140 hours per year, to all eligible 2 year olds and all children aged from 3 to those not yet attending Primary School, effective from 1 August 2020.

Activity: NLC planned an innovative approach to procurement for the 1140 hours through an interim framework, open to all settings including private, third sector and childminders. NLC approached the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) to provide bespoke training on how to bid for this public sector work through Scotland’s public sector procurement website, Public Contracts Scotland. The ‘smash success’ of the bespoke training in increasing access to the bidding opportunity is evidenced in that of the 154 successful suppliers, 73% were supported by SDP prior to bidding. 100% of these businesses were SMEs.

Wider benefits: Learnings from the success of the procurement approach have been replicated throughout NLC and have also been showcased across Scotland via additional SDP training events, sharing best practice with many Scottish local authorities.


Category: Infrastructure or Capital Project of the Year

Finalist: Transport Scotland

Background: Transport Scotland is the national transport agency for Scotland.
It seeks to deliver a safe, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable transport system to benefit the people of Scotland, playing a 2 of 5 key role in helping to achieve the Scottish Government increase sustainable economic growth with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish.

Activity: The A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam Project is the second section of the £3 billion A9 Dualling Programme to be delivered by Transport Scotland as part of the major infrastructure upgrade to dual the A9 carriageway from Perth to Inverness.

Wider benefits: In addition to widening the existing road to dual carriageway standard, the project involves construction of four overbridges over the A9 and removal of all direct accesses to the A9 carriageway. These measures will improve driver safety and reduce frustration and stress by providing more overtaking opportunities. The project will also create a new network of footpaths and cycleways, including a new link connecting Luncarty and Bankfoot, to encourage active travel. Sustainable Procurement is at the heart of this large infrastructure project. The A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project is being delivered with an unprecedented focus on community benefits
and a commitment to bring meaningful and measurable change to the communities surrounding the project.


Category: Supplier Relationship Manager

Finalist: Scottish Government

Background: Warmer Homes Scotland (WHS) is the Scottish Government’s (SG) national fuel poverty scheme designed to reduce the number of Scottish household living in fuel poverty. The contract valued at £224 million was awarded to Warmworks Scotland LLP for 5 years with the option to extend for a maximum of 2 years.

Activity: The Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) process involves a dual-board governance approach, (1) ‘Operations’ board where key staff from SG and Warmworks discuss the contract operation and contractual compliance matters; (2) ‘Strategic’ Board where senior staff from both organisations discuss policy matters and horizon scan to consider how to achieve best value from our contract.

Wider benefits: The Operations Board has worked closely during the COVID-19 pandemic providing mutual support, including the SG providing Warmworks with on-going funding during the enforced scheme closure whilst Warmworks ensured no customer was left without a heating source and worked to ensure a smooth re-start. The impact of the continuous improvement requirement in the contract and excellent SRM have enabled more households be supported through, in particular, the introduction of additional innovative measures to WHS.


Category: Best Procurement Delivery – Local Government

Finalist: Scottish Borders Council & the Supplier Development Programme

Background: The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is a business support initiative that aims to improve competitiveness of local businesses in public sector tendering. SDP is a partnership of Local Authorities, Scottish Government and other public bodies working together to bring SMEs support in tendering to improve efficiency, sustainability and market potential. Scottish Borders Council (the Council) has a wide ranging property estate of over 800 buildings with an estimated £4.7 million annual budget for repairs and maintenance. The Property Management Team has responsibility for the day to day management of this portfolio of property.

Activity: The Council sought to renew a multi-trade, supplier and lotted framework delivering a reactive repairs and maintenance service to the organisation. These types of service are also required by other public authorities across the areas, therefore the opportunity to deliver a collaborative framework was taken. The Council’s Procurement team, together with the Property Manager, engaged with multiple stakeholders to develop both the procurement strategy and crucially, a communications plan to deliver the framework. The Scottish Borders area covers 4,732 km², with 47.1% of the population living in a rural environment. This presents challenges for all procurement activities, but specifically for a framework that requires delivery on a 24-hour basis across such a large area.

Wider benefits: To ensure the local supply base was provided every opportunity to submit successful tenders, the Council aimed to support as much as possible and worked hand in hand with the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) to achieve this ambition. SDP training was designed to align to and meet the particular requirements of the tender and delivered free of charge to contractors. From those who attended, 91% said they were more likely to bid than they would have been without training. Following evaluation, 142 contractors were successful. Of these, 116 suppliers (81.7%) were based in the Scottish Borders area, which was a fantastic result for the local supply chain. The legacy of this success is now embedded in Council procurement practice. As part of each project, strategy development includes consideration of digital tendering skills in each relevant sector of the supply chain.


Category: COVID-19 Outstanding Response Award – NHS and Healthcare Organisations

Finalist: NHS National Services Scotland (NHSNSS)

Background: NSS is a national NHS Board operating right at the heart of NHSScotland. It provides invaluable support and advice, a role which is extended to the wider public sector.

Activity: At the request of the Scottish Government on 30 March 2020, there was a requirement for a temporary emergency critical care hospital to be built within a 3-week construction and commissioning period to help deal with COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. The NHS Louisa Jordan was located at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, with the co-ordination of the procurement and construction by NHS National Services Scotland and operated by NHSScotland. The hospital was required to have a capacity of accommodating upwards of 1000 patients and was required to be operational by Monday 20 April 2020. The hospital was built, commissioned and became operational on 19 April 2020. The success of this project must be viewed holistically as a collaborative team achievement and its ability to bring a multitude of different teams, disciplines and organisations together to deliver the project. Not only has the project delivered the hospital requirements within an incredible 3-week period, it did so under budget within a challenging environment of maintaining physical distancing, lockdown and limited availability of labour and materials.

Wider Benefits: Due to the innovative flexibility of the facility, some planned elective care procedures that were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic were carried out at the NHS Louisa Jordan to help NHSScotland recover. The hospital is also being utilised for examinations, staff training, teaching and learning due to the facilities and space available to maintain physical distancing arrangements. As a result, this has allowed the hospital to provide additional benefits to NHSScotland, thus ensuring the stability of the NHS in Scotland and wider health and social care workforce; whilst at the same time providing contingency and a facility that was ready to accept COVID-19 patients. The lessons learned from NHS Louisa Jordan have been incorporated into best practice guidance and shared with other health boards throughout Scotland.


Best of luck to all of the shortlisted entrants!

For further information on the UK National Go Awards and the full list of finalists, please visit Home – GO Awards National


For further information on public procurement in Scotland please visit

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