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Procurement reform continues
Scottish business will get further assistance to make the most of public procurement opportunities.
A new programme agreed by the Government's Public Procurement Advisory Group will target better guidance and assistance for SMEs to make it easier to access to government contracts.
Other measures include the ongoing simplification of public procurement processes, better guidance for buyers and suppliers and easier access to low value contracts.
Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said:
"With spending on goods and services of around eight billion pounds per year, public procurement has a huge economic impact. We have been listening very carefully to the issues raised by business about public procurement and have now agreed new measures for further development.
"These measures directly address the issues raised by business, such as the simplification and standardisation of procurement processes, enhanced assistance for businesses in pursuing public procurement opportunities and new guidance to public bodies on how to reflect economic impact in procurement strategies.
"This builds on our recent commitments such as the introduction of a national database of supplier information to allow suppliers to enter their data once in a single place, and moves to ensure that all sub-contractors providing goods and services to Scottish Government are paid within 30 days. Taken together these additional, practical measures are another step to help increase sustainable economic growth."
Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and a PPAG member said: "We have lobbied hard with the Scottish Government regarding our members concerns in relation to accessing and improving public procurement generally. I am delighted that following a series of constructive discussions, these new measures have now been agreed. They provide the potential to make a real difference to business, especially smaller firms, looking to access and win public contracts.
"Our next steps together will be even more challenging as we collectively provide the resources to ensure a swift action plan to focus on the detailed development and implementation on the ground."
The Public Procurement Advisory Group membership is:
- Enterprise Minister Jim Mather
- Stephen Boyd, Assistant Secretary, STUC
- Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
- Pauline Graham, Chief Executive, Social Firms Scotland
- Annie Gunner Logan, Director, Community Care Providers Scotland
- Janette Harkess, Director of Policy and Research, SCDI
- David Hutcheson, Institute of Directors Scotland
- Susan Love, Federation of Small Business
- Helen Macneil, Chief Executive, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector
- Iain MacMillan, Director, CBI Scotland
- Alastair Merrill, Director of Procurement, Scottish Government