Public Procurement and Property

Supported Businesses – An important part of procurement

March 1, 2023 by No Comments | Category Guest Blog, supported businesses, Sustainable Procurement, Third sector

We’re pleased to welcome a guest blog from Social Security Scotland to discuss their commitment to working with Supported Businesses, delivering positive benefits through procurement for the people of Scotland. 

Social Security Scotland was created to deliver a social security system for the people of Scotland based on our fundamental principles of dignity, fairness, and respect.

We are an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government, and since 2018, we have introduced thirteen benefits. Seven of these are completely new forms of financial support, only available in Scotland.

Using the opportunity to build a brand-new public service fit for the future, we are focused on the positive benefits of procurement to deliver and influence outcomes that are good for the people of Scotland.  That can include providing better public services, positive social, economic and environmental outcomes and to contributing to a range of local and national policies.

Office furniture in the new Social Security Scotland Glasgow and Dundee offices supplied through Supported Businesses, City Building in Glasgow and Dovetail Enterprises in Dundee.As part of our commitment to working with Supported Businesses – enterprises where at least 30% of the workforce have a disability or a disadvantage – we have placed two contracts worth £2 million for the provision of furniture for our head office in Dundee and our office building in Glasgow.

The contracts awarded to Dovetail Enterprises and RSBi/City Building provided value for public money and quality office furniture, including tables, desks and chairs.

Natalie McCrindle, Head of Procurement and Commercial at Social Security Scotland, commented:

 “We want our procurement activities to reflect the people we serve, while also achieving best value. Working with Supported Businesses ensures we are helping bring people into local workforces in Dundee and Glasgow who have missed out on employment opportunities.

 “I would encourage any public sector organisation to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the Scottish Government Supported Businesses Framework and consider how they can take positive steps to make Supported Businesses a consideration in their procurement activity.”

Alistair Kerr, Director & Chair of BASE Scotland, commented:

“BASE Scotland has been collaborating with Social Security Scotland Procurement Directorate since its inception. Enabling Sustainable Procurement Duty’s to contribute to Scottish Government policy ambitions of No One Left Behind and Halving the Disability Employment Gap.

“This example led by Social Security Scotland Procurement builds on the Publication of Social Security Scotland’s first Corporate Procurement Strategy which BASE Scotland contributed to. A fantastic evidenced based example of The Power of Procurement in action supporting Disabled or Disadvantaged people to achieve individual goals and ambitions. Something all involved with should be immensely proud of.”

Garry Laing, Commercial Manager at Dovetail Enterprises, said:

“The award of the contract could not have come at a better time for us. It kept our cash flow moving during the time of the pandemic when there was very little being manufactured. Our situation was further helped by Social Security Scotland making prompt payment, which is extremely important in maintaining a reliable income.

“Most importantly, the revenue generated for Dovetail through the Supported Business Framework helps to ensure we can continue with our primary goal which is to provide employment and training opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged members of society.”

Ben Kerr, RSBi Manager at City Building said:

“The contract has provided a steady workflow throughout the difficult months during and following the pandemic and has contributed to continued employment and the initiatives we support for training and development of our workforce and the support of those with disabilities.”

Social Security Scotland and the Scottish Government were joint finalists in the Government Opportunity Awards for the Social Value and Supply Chain Diversity categories last year in recognition of the work to place contracts with Supported Businesses.

More information on the use of Supported Businesses is available in the Scottish Government Supported Businesses framework.

Read our Social Security Scotland Annual Procurement Report 2021-2022.

Public bodies are able to reserve contracts for Supported Businesses under the public procurement rules in Scotland.

For further information on public procurement in Scotland please visit

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