Public Procurement and Property

What is the Plan for the Future?

July 27, 2022 by 1 Comment | Category Plan for the Future, Scottish Procurement

Nick Ford, Director of Scottish Procurement and Property

Nick Ford, Director of Scottish Procurement and Property

What is the Plan for the Future? An introduction from Nick Ford, Director of Scottish Procurement and Property.

The Plan for the Future programme was created by the Public Procurement Group, along with key stakeholder groups. The ‘Plan for the Future’ is made up of some cross sectorial workstreams, which are being delivered by working groups that have representatives from across the sectors to provide a breath of ideas, suggestions and representation. There are also Scottish Government led projects which will engage with Scottish Government and public, private and third sector stakeholders as required to drive change.

This short video introduces the programme:

The live cross sectorial workstreams that make up the Plan for the Future include:

  1. Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland

The intention behind developing a public procurement strategy is to provide a future high-level vision and roadmap for Scottish public procurement in the longer term which all public sector bodies can align and deliver against.

  1. eProcurement Strategy & Digital Roadmap

This workstream  will deliver a joined up vision statement and an overarching strategy for the national eProcurement Shared Service  supported by a  3-5 year digital roadmap. Work is already underway  in collaboration and consultation with a cross sector deliver group.

  1. Communications and Engagement

Public Procurement has a wide ranging set of stakeholder groups, with differing relationships, interests and needs in their engagement. This work stream will build on existing work to identify improvements to our communications and engagement approach – to create a coherent, inclusive and dynamic stakeholder environment which maximises and demonstrates the power of procurement.

In parallel there are three current Scottish Government led workstreams that are part of the Plan for the Future, including:

  1. Maximising the impact of Procurement, including an evidence based approach.

We are exploring how far we can go within the rules in making our shared national priorities a proportionate condition of relevant contracts to boost an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery; taking steps to underpin local consistency in practice and to improve the evidence we gather to track and target improvement. In short, – embedding Fair Work First (including the real Living Wage), climate and local economic considerations in to more contracts. To minimise unnecessary burdens on buyers and suppliers, our focus is on enabling organisations to embed existing policy and agreed priorities, wherever possible, rather than introducing new policy. This includes additional sources of support, including free-to-access/use guidance, tools, templates, mentorship, training and case studies.

  1. Property – data

The transformation of Property data project includes validation of specific data fields for relevant properties. This is primarily to assist with the move from the national e-PIMS register to a new database tool called inSite. In addition to this work, recommendations on further use of Horizon will be made, alongside embedded ways of working for updates to the property data in the appropriate systems. Data sharing agreements will be developed and put in place, to facilitate collaboration with other Scottish Government teams.

  1. Property – Construction Guide

The Client Guide to Construction Projects Digitisation Project is looking to improve the user journey through the Client Guide, the guidance within it is seen as exemplary but commentary has suggested that its presentation and navigation on the internet needs to be more user friendly and intuitive.

Over time, further workstreams may be added.


The workstreams that make up the Plan for the Future will provide a shared Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland to align our aims and aspirations. In the wake of the pandemic, they will support our efforts to maximise the impact and outcomes of our public procurement spending, boosting an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery. They will underpin collaboration, helping buyer and suppliers to pull in the same direction, making the best use of our combined resources, delivering outcomes that are good for our businesses and our communities.

The eProcurement strategy will set out how procurement technology will support the shared Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland including improved data to help better inform and support  procurement and financial decision making.

Overall a Plan for the Future will guide us all so we move forward together, using our resources more effectively across the landscape in Scotland.


A series of workstreams has been established to deliver the outcomes, and these are made by the Workstreams Members, Senior Responsible Owners and Project Leads. Workstreams have been established with representatives from across the different sectors Including NHS, local government and education. Details of the representatives and the workstreams they are involved in can be found in the Terms of Reference. To receive a copy of this document, please contact your Head of Procurement or email


All workstreams have their own delivery plans with their own timescales. Delivery will continue throughout 2022/23

What does this mean for me?

Currently, I am asking all Scottish Public Procurement Professionals to have an awareness of the Plan for the Future programme. If one or more of the projects is of particular interest to you, engage with your sector representative on that project’s working group – you can find out who that is in the Terms of Reference document. They will have knowledge of the project’s aims and the opportunity to feed in any ideas or suggestions.

As each project is different, they will have differing impacts. This will also depend on the organisation you work in and the role you fulfil. In all cases we seek to embed flexibility and proportionality for organisations of all sizes. Further communication on each project will outline what they mean for everyone as they develop and establish.

Through collaboration we aim to remain at the forefront of innovative and ambitious procurement policy and processes, and will continue to strive and push the boundaries of all we can achieve.

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  • Billy Hughes says:

    To minimise unnecessary burdens on buyers and suppliers, our focus is on enabling organisations to embed existing policy and agreed priorities, wherever possible, rather than introducing new policy.

    This doesn’t make sense if existing policies don’t work.

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