Public Procurement and Property

Talking Supported Businesses with Social Security Scotland

September 8, 2021 by No Comments | Category framework agreements, Guest Blog, Procurement news, Scottish Procurement, SMEs, supported businesses

Scottish Procurement are delighted to welcome a guest blog from Natalie McCrindle, Head of Procurement and Commercial at Social Security Scotland to discuss their use of Scottish Government Frameworks to deliver social and economic benefits at their recently launched offices in Glasgow and Dundee.

We recently published our Corporate Procurement Strategy which shows how we intend to make sure our spending on goods and services will provide value for money for the tax payer and contracts are awarded fairly to businesses – making a difference in their communities. It demonstrates how our approach to procurement will contribute to improving our economy.

Key to our strategy, is making sure our procurement opportunities are accessible to small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), third-sector organisations and Supported Businesses – where 30% of their workforce includes people who have either a disability or are disadvantaged in relation to their ability to find and sustain employment.

We ensure that we use the Scottish Government Supported Business Framework whenever appropriate. This framework was used recently to invite bids from local Supported Businesses to furnish our offices in Dundee and Glasgow.

We invited bids from Supported Businesses to support the interior design and fit-out of our offices. Dundee’s Dovetail Enterprises and Glasgow’s City Building won contracts totalling £2 million to supply office furniture including tables, chairs and desks.

Dovetail Enterprises is a furniture manufacturer that offers training and job opportunities to people with disabilities. City Building works with its manufacturing facility at Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries to support employment opportunities for disabled people, including those who are visually impaired.

Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing, a social enterprise based in Renfrewshire that employs people adjusting to life outside of the military, was also awarded a £50,000 contract to provide bespoke signs for our offices.

Public procurement legislation requires us to consider the economic, social and environmental impact of our procurement spend on local communities throughout Scotland. One of the tools we use to achieve this is lotting and lot-limiting. Lotting is a process which breaks down larger contracts into smaller contract packages to encourage SMEs and third-sector organisations who may not be able to carry out all of the work to bid for part of it. We also work with contractors though attending supplier engagement events and pre-market engagement to encourage SMEs, third-sector organisations and Supported Businesses to be a part of our supply chain.

By dividing contracts into lots and using lot-limiting, we can award contracts to more than one supplier which ensures economic benefits are shared across locations.

So far we have spent £2 million, and we expect our spend on goods and services to increase significantly this financial year as we continue to grow. Dignity, fairness and respect will remain central to our decision making on spending public money and we will continue to put Supported Businesses at the heart of our planning.

Read our latest procurement strategy at Social Security Scotland Corporate procurement strategy 2021-2023

Thank you to Social Security Scotland for giving us an insight into their commitment to working with SMEs, Supported Businesses and third-sector organisations. An excellent example of the #PowerOfProcurement, demonstrating how public procurement in Scotland is:

– Good for Businesses and Employees

– Good for Society

– Good for Places and Communities

– Open and Connected

For further information on Scotland’s Public Procurement Priorities please click here.


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