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Scottish Parliament sets out responsible purchasing strategy

Scottish Parliament sets out responsible purchasing strategy

News Release issued by The Scottish Parliament on 27 June 2007

New procurement guidelines which aim to place greater emphasis upon environmental and social issues were published today by the Scottish Parliament in a month long consultation that is open to the public.

Before launching the open consultation period, key stakeholders such as the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum, The Centre for Human Ecology, and The Scottish Federation of Small Business were invited to study the report and give their views.

Commenting on the proposed guidelines, Niall Stuart of the Scottish Federation of Small Business said:

"We are pleased to see the Parliament take such a proactive approach to responsible purchasing. We are especially happy to see such a strong emphasis on transparency and fairness and greatly support the emphasis placed on all aspects of professional development."

The strategy, on which public views are now sought, has been developed by the Scottish Parliament's Procurement Services team and covers four key areas:

* Professionalism
* Environmental impact
* Ethical and social issues
* Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) & local suppliers

The draft strategy also focuses on the importance of environmental and ethical factors when choosing suppliers, and sets clear targets to encourage existing contractors to improve their own environmental performance.

Osbert Lancaster of the Centre for Human Ecology said of the Parliament's proposals:

"When implemented wholeheartedly this strategy will not only deliver tangible benefits, but also inspire others to follow the Parliament's lead and seriously address the impact of today's decisions on people, the environment and local economies, now and in the future. Building on this strategy the Parliament could become recognised as a leader in responsible purchasing."

Malcolm McRobert of the Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility specialists Thirdwave added that the move represented:

"A very positive step towards addressing the challenges in public sector procurement and opening up the possibility that the public sector can more efficiently use procurement as a 'tool for change' in Scotland."

As 99 per cent of all firms in Scotland employ fewer than 250 employees, Holyrood's new draft Responsible Purchasing strategy highlights the importance of helping and supporting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to make it easier for them to work with the Parliament. The strategy will do so by helping to remove barriers to engaging with the Parliament and maximising subcontracting opportunities for SMEs.

From today any interested individual or party can submit their feedback on the draft strategy document which is available to download from the Scottish Parliament's website.

Lynn Garvie, Head of Procurement at the Scottish Parliament stated:

"Responsible Purchasing is an important development for the Scottish Parliament. This strategy also takes into account the needs of small and medium sized businesses and encourages all of our suppliers to take account of the environmental and social impact they have on the world around them."

Background information

Statement of principles - responsible purchasing

"The Scottish Parliament is committed to purchasing responsibly in ways which build on the Parliament's strategic priorities and contribute to sustainable development.

Purchasing responsibly means:

* Effectively meeting the needs of the Parliament for goods, services and minor works;

* Taking account of the impact of today's decisions on people and the environment, both now and in the future;

* Acting ethically at all times in our dealings with colleagues, customers, actual & potential suppliers;

* Having the necessary skills and knowledge to evaluate and respond to conflicting demands;

* Complying with regulations and taking reasonable steps to ensure that others act in compliance"

For more information on Responsible Purchasing or to download the draft strategy, please go to:

For public information enquiries, contact: 0131 348 5000 or 0845 278 1999 (local call rate)
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