The rapid evidence review of Public Procurement Reform reveals that there is a policy consensus at Scotland, UK and EU levels for the principles underpinning public procurement reform and the value of utilising public procurement as a strategic enabler for achieving wider policy objectives.
Evidence suggests, however, that the reform process is still underway and that despite, reported progress on the key aspects of the reform agenda, there is need for continued improvement and action, including: greater adoption of e-procurement practices; more systematic collection of management and evaluation data on procurement spend and outcomes; and more work to be done to understand methods and procedures best designed to prevent poor performing suppliers and ensure compliance in procurement. This is recognised as an area for attention by the European Commission and so, addressing areas for future development is necessary within and across EU member states. If Scotland is also to keep abreast and in step with the EU modernisation of procurement and continue with the UK and other northern European countries to be the front runners in the themes of reform, then continuous development and improvement is necessary.
As the reform process continues, the evidence review concludes that there is a need to develop a mix of 'softer' (encouraging) and 'harder' (enforcing) approaches to continue to build reform momentum.