Public Procurement and Property
PSG update: The value of open discussion
We’re pleased to welcome the latest guest blog in our series covering the Procurement Supply Group (PSG) quarterly meetings. We caught up with Neil McKechnie, Commissioning & Procurement/ Covid-19 Response Associate of Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS).
The quality of information shared at the PSG along with the open discussion is a valuable space for CCPS. To be able to represent the impact procurement has on our members, and how we can transform current price based competitive tendering to outcome focused collaborative commissioning and procurement of social care.
At the latest meeting, Nikki Archer from Scottish Procurement provided an overview of the work planned by Government to maximise the impact of procurement.
Focusing on the key themes of:
- accountability and engagement
- MI and eCommerce
- mainstreaming sustainable procurement to support consistency of local practice
- tracking, sharing and publishing evidence,
- contract and supplier management.
Members had the opportunity to engage officials with questions on these plans.
From a social care perspective, we had some great discussion around local authority commissioners and procurement teams understanding what can and can’t be done under the current Procurement Regulations. CCPS promotes alternatives to competitive tendering processes, as the output of current procurement methods are typically to the detriment of those reliant upon social care services and those providers that deliver them.
Nikki shared with us plans for developing Scottish Government myth busting material. At which point I was able to share with the group the available CCPS myth busting materials for Health and Social Care. We agreed this presented an opportunity to dovetail and explore further our respective work.
We covered further ground in the meeting on conditionality, the real Living Wage, prompt payment, and climate. Updates were provided on recent activity to make better use of public procurement to drive forward innovation, with work underway to create a supplier led innovation service in 2022.
In relation to construction, news of the Civil engineering framework, with key deliverables to include Fair Work First, prompt payment and net zero, and the objective of creating a straightforward mechanism where civil engineering contracts up to the value of £80m can be called off.
Members, including myself, shared the importance of funding, proportionality, and consideration of the cost impact of implementation of policies for our respective members. CCPS are supportive of Fair Work First, action for climate change, and enabling local economies. But to meet these obligations our valuable social care services must be funded appropriately, and the cost to the third sector (charities) of implementing these policies considered when setting the funding levels for service. It’s important that we move away from the expectation that it is okay to ask social care providers to do more with less.
The vision that unites our members and our organisation is that policy, practice and procedure within social care must be designed to benefit those who use and rely on social care services. People should be given the choice of who they want to have deliver services and set the outcomes that are personal to them as opposed to generic outcomes found in national frameworks.
The Procurement Supply Group provides a great opportunity for us to get this message across directly to policy officials and to discuss with and learn from other membership and representative bodies, and I look forward to further discussions.
CCPS are a membership organisation representing third-sector social care organisations in Scotland. Our membership comprises of more than 80 of the most substantial third-sector support providers in Scotland.
Who provide social care support to:
- children, young people and families
- adults and older people with care and support needs
- people in contact with the criminal justice system
- and homeless people.
Our members support over 200,000 people and their families, employ a combined total of over 43,000 staff and work with approximately 5,000 volunteers providing services. They work across all Scotland’s councils and are active in all Health and Social Care Partnerships.
Thanks to Neil for providing this update. The next Procurement Supply Group meeting will take place 25 January 2022.
To find out more about Public Procurement in Scotland, please visit www.gov.scot/procurement.
If you are a third sector organisation or new business you may wish to take part the research we’re currently conducting to gather views and inform development of inclusive policies.
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