Public Procurement and Property

Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland – Public Procurement for a sustainable future

April 5, 2023 by No Comments | Category Plan for the Future

Public Procurement for a sustainable future

Having worked persistently over recent months, the cross-sector working group on strategy development are excited to mark the publication of the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland on 27 April 2023.

The strategy intends to provide a high-level vision and roadmap for Scottish Public Sector Procurement which all public sector bodies can align and deliver against. Inspired by the collaborative approach taken to develop this strategy, the aspirations it contains reflect how we can collectively drive Public Procurement forward in Scotland.

Ahead of publication, we’d like to reflect on the process that brought us to this point, and acknowledge the distinct contributions made by procurement people from across the public sector. To begin to do so, we’d first like to ask: how did we get here?

Watch the short video below for an overview (Transcript available at the bottom of the page):

  1. Identifying the opportunity for greater alignment

In 2021, the ‘Plan for the Future’ was developed by the Public Procurement Group to increase the impact of the £14.5bn of procurement spend by promoting consistent practice and strengthen procurement’s contribution to a green and inclusive economic recovery.

This ‘Plan for the Future’ is made up of both cross sectorial and Scottish Government led projects, the former including the development of a Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland, the development of an eCommerce Strategy & MI Roadmap, and the development of an aligned cross-sector approach to communications and engagement.

These three projects are being delivered by working groups with representatives from across the public sector in order to provide a breadth of ideas and ensure that the solutions devised are informed by a variety of perspectives.

  1. Developing the Strategy

Having devised the requirement for national strategy, a cross-sector work stream was established. First meeting on 31 May 2022, initially set out to benchmark existing strategies, policies and initiatives whose subject matter spanned: social impact, climate and circular economy, commercial propriety, supply chain resilience, capability and skills.

This allowed the group to look at these holistically, identifying potential synergies, which would go on to inform the scope and structure of the strategy as it continued to develop. Initial work provided an outline strategy structure based on the 4 Good For’s, which serve as the Scottish Public Sector Procurement methodology for applying the National Performance Framework.

  1. Raising Awareness

Ensuring that a diverse set of interests and opinions were represented in the development process was – from the outset – a key consideration. Work stream representatives met with colleagues from across government and the public sector – as well as representative organisations for both business and the third sector – to discuss strategy content.

Each provided meaningful feedback which informed both the strategic outlook and technical composition of the strategy document. Furthermore, oversight was provided throughout by four procurement Centre’s of Expertise.

This proactive approach to engagement was thought to be a necessary element of the development process to as to ensure that the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland would resonate with public sector, not just at the point of publication, but across the entirety of its 5-year life cycle.

  1. Transitioning to delivery

Throughout the iterative process of development, certain features of the strategy began to take shape. A Vision Statement was devised:

“Putting Public Procurement at the heart of a sustainable economy to maximise value for the people of Scotland”

Enablers were identified, and a set of 24 high-level strategic aims were established. All throughout, the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland was written and presented in such a way as to be easy to interpret and amenable to being implemented in a tailored fashion. We advise you keep an eye out for the strategy when it is published on 27 April 2023 – subscribe to our blog to ensure you are first to hear any updates.

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Multi-speaker Transcript:

As part of the Plan for the Future, we will soon be publishing the first ever Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland.

How did we get here? Let’s take a look at the journey so far…

In Spring 2022, the Plan for the Future commenced.

Then the cross-sector Strategy working group met for the first time…

…they undertook Discovery work looking at what’s out there, and possible best practice.

In August, a survey was launched to create the Strategy’s Vision Statement…

…then in September, the very first version of the Strategy was created!

Around four months of engagement activity took place to help inform the Strategy…

…and as cross-sector feedback was received, new drafts of the Strategy were created.

In early 2023, the working group looked at Measurement and finalised layouts.

Now, publication is just around the corner!

Let’s hear from some of the working group members…

Rhonda McKay, Head of Procurement, Abertay University

“Being part of the working group demonstrated collaboration at its best, each sector listened, challenged and agreed on a high-level strategy that recognised all entities regardless of size and maturity.”

Collette May, Procurement Policy Portfolio Manager

“It has been great to work in collaboration with representatives from all sectors to develop a cohesive strategy for Public Procurement in Scotland, with shared national priorities, to maximise the benefits that procurement can bring to the people of Scotland.”

Stuart Gillespie, Category Manager, National Procurement

“Working in collaboration with enthusiastic and knowledgeable colleagues from across the Public Sector landscape as part of the working group ensured that we created a strategy that was suitable for all and will empower procurement to deliver lasting positive outcomes for the people of Scotland.”

Thank you to everyone who has helped create the first ever Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland.

For more information on the Strategy and the Plan for the Future, visit our Public Procurement and Property Blog.

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