Public Procurement and Property

Public Procurement Group (PPG) look back on 2022!

December 14, 2022 by No Comments | Category Plan for the Future, Procurement news, Public Procurement Group, Scottish Procurement

As 2022 draws to a close we take a look back at what has been achieved over the last year in Public Procurement in Scotland.

We asked members of the Public Procurement Group (PPG) to summarise their sector’s 2022 achievements. As well as the achievements listed below, the PPG has also been instrumental in implementing the Plan for the Future which you can read more about in this blog post.

Angus Warren Chief Executive of Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) gave an update on the Higher Education/Further Education sector.

Scottish University and College Sectors Supply Chain Climate and Ecological Emergency StrategyA major outcome this year was that the Principals (Chief Executives) groups across both the University and College sectors, approved a collective “Scottish University and College Sectors Supply Chain Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy”. A large range of (commodity / category focussed) workshops led by the APUC Responsible Procurement Team have since then taken place from the Summer until the end of November to assist colleagues across the sector in the action planning to implement the new strategy.

With the challenges emanating from Brexit, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, APUC started publishing a Markets Insights report to their member institutions from the Summer of 2022 onwards to provide easy to read awareness summaries of issues or risks in our supply chains. These have proved very popular and are issued roughly every 2 months.

Institutional Heads of Procurement collaborated with APUC to develop a six month Future Leaders Programme to take aspiring procurement managers from across the sector and provide a development programme to move them to becoming the future Heads of Procurement. The first workshop for the programme commenced in February 2022 (after being delayed from December 2021 by Covid lockdowns) and the programme was complete by early summer. The programme was an outstanding success with several delegates already having used their experience to gain leadership positions in the second half of 2022. The next cohort will commence in Q4/2023.

Procurement professionals across the sector (in institutions & APUC) have been doing an outstanding job of keeping supplies of goods and services flowing onto campuses, this includes dealing with a significant return to campus for students and staff from September 2022. With the variable and sometimes complex new-normal ways of working being established, the procurement community across the sector rose to the challenge and provided a highly regarded contribution to the success of institutions delivering across their teaching, knowledge transfer and research activities in this dynamic environment.

Gordon Beattie Director of NHSS National Procurement at NHS National Services Scotland said:

Looking back over the last year you realise how much our NHS Scotland procurement teams have delivered on and the challenges we’ve had to work together to overcome.

From the impact of the Omicron variant and delivering on the mass vaccination programme that helped protect so many, supporting the war in Ukraine where we supplied over £3m of vital medical supplies and equipment to our focus on core service delivery and planning for the future, procurement teams across NHS Scotland working together effectively achieved a great deal not only to enable patient services in Scotland, but internationally.

Our focus is now considering the impacts of the financial crisis (our NP team has already secured over £40m of saving this year) along with ensuring our hospitals and primary care services are fully supported as they respond to the increasing pressures our NHS is facing.

As we look forward to the new year I reflect on some very positive outcomes achieved in 2022. Our procurement teams , service users and suppliers were recognised at the GO Awards and Scottish Health Awards. We’re making great progress on establishing a strong foundation on our net zero ambitions including modernising our equipment fleet and removing products with negative environmental impacts. We’ve rolled out a new Inventory Management Systems across all our HBs in a ‘once for Scotland’ approach to enable improved patient safety through our Scan for Safety project.

Lastly we continue to provide resilience as Scotland recovers from the impact of COVID-19, and this summer we passed the 2 billion mark of PPE items supplied to our Health and Social Care services since the start of the pandemic. We’ve also supported this winter’s vaccine booster programme and built additional resilience in our supply chains to protect our services.

None of this has been possible without the dedication, professionalism and skills of our procurement teams across NHS Scotland and I would like to take a moment to thank you all for your outstanding work and to wish you a happy, peaceful and relaxing time over the festive period. Next year I know we’ll again rise to the challenge and deliver for the people of Scotland.

Julie Welsh Chief Executive of Scotland Excel said:

Social care has remined a key focus for Scotland Excel in 2022, as our portfolio of care frameworks continues to support councils and HSCPs in commissioning a wide range of services. As development begins for the National Care Service, we’ve been part of this year’s initial conversations – responding to the Bill’s call for views and giving evidence to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

Our work to underpin the Scottish Government’s important community wealth building agenda continues and has been nationally recognised this year. Not only has our project to improve local economic growth through community wealth building produced a toolkit for Scotland’s 32 councils to use – it also won a Scottish GO Award and is nominated for a Scottish Public Services Award.

Hugh Carr, Scotland Excel, Head of Strategic Procurement, and Patrick Harvie MSP.

As the drive towards Net Zero continues, Scotland Excel has stepped up the support we give our members in helping them to reduce carbon. This year we launched our first ever framework for electric vehicle charging points, which will support the phasing out of new petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet.

We also launched our second-generation energy efficiency contractors framework at the Energy Efficiency Conference and Expo, this year. The event brought together leading experts to discuss how the public and private sectors can work together to combat the climate emergency and achieve the Scottish Government’s goal of a Net Zero. It was launched by Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights.

The Scotland Excel Academy has continued to lead the way in learning and development for the public sector in 2022. It began delivery of the Scottish Government’s procurement and commercial training framework – providing a range of short training courses for public procurement professionals.

It also launched a new course for public sector employees that aims to prevent the infiltration of serious organised crime (SOC) groups into public contracts and supply chains.

Barry Graham, Scottish Government supporting Central Government (CG) capability:

2022 saw post-covid recovery continue, several sectoral successes notably at the GO Awards, and fundamentally an ongoing drive to embed climate consideration in procurement processes. The sector has been responsive in the face of resource constraints, navigating significant emerging global issues including the Ukraine conflict and the rising cost of living.

Climate remains a key focus, and the sector welcomed the additional sources of help and support which have been developed to enable public procurement authorities to use procurement to address the climate emergency through SPPN 3/2022, with the Scottish Government Capability Team supporting the introduction of these.

Building on our 2021 Annual conference climate focus, 2022 was a year of awareness building and tool development within the sector. Our Cluster network has continued to have a sustainability focus, and Scottish Government policy colleagues have supported the delivery of sectoral messaging including sustainability tool demos and inclusion of sectoral specific case studies within the sustainability tools.

The CG sectoral uptake of the Climate Literacy eLearning hosted on the Sustainable Procurement Tools platform remains good, and notably increasing steadily each quarter, helping build awareness across organisations. Training remains a focus into 2023, and the support that will be required to prepare organisations undertaking the Procurement & Commercial Improvement Programme (PCIP) and the notable new Climate Specific question focus.

CG Implementation Steering Group have remained an ongoing support, developing the Primary Impact Area Climate Change (PIACC) guidance offering operational procurement insight ensuring the guidance is a ‘value add’ to buyers. We will continue to build on the development of these tools through the national operational work stream, but also further work with Zero Waste Scotland on the development of the ‘climate handbook’, to further inform organisational buying procedures and buyers understanding.

We have made some great climate progress in 2022, whilst also being responsive emerging issues. 2023 will be an opportunity to further build on this work, and continue to support the sector in the development and implementation of guidance.

I also want take this opportunity to thank those bodies who have used our Shared Services be it purchasing or capability development.

Our thanks to Angus, Gordon, Julie and Barry for their reflections of 2022. Look out for Director of Scottish Procurement and Property, Nick Ford’s end of year vlog coming soon for his thoughts!

To find out more about Public Procurement in Scotland, please visit

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