Good procurement is vitally important to both public sector and business alike. Public services need to make the best use of public money and focus on helping the government achieve its overarching purpose and strategic objectives.
The public procurement reform programme, set up in 2006 following publication of John McClelland's Report 'Review of Public Procurement in Scotland', is making a real impact on public sector purchasing. It now has a well-established impetus, underpinned by real progress on joined-up working across a wide range of procurement activity and practice.
In January 2010, the Public Procurement Reform Board endorsed the second phase of the public procurement reform programme- 'Transforming Procurement: Accelerating Delivery'. The refreshed strategy places emphasis on accelerating the pace of change and the delivery of benefits, and embedding initiatives into 'business as usual'. At its heart is the concept of value for money in procurement being an informed balance between cost, quality and sustainability.
The refreshed strategy focuses on four key priorities:
- Maximising efficiency and collaboration
- Delivering and demonstrating real cash savings across the public sector
- Improving access to public sector contracts, particularly for SMEs
- Embedding sustainable procurement at the heart of the reform agenda
Underpinning these priorities are seven strategic objectives - the Seven C's:
- Capturing savings and benefits
- Corporate social responsibility
The public consultation on the proposed policy content of the Procurement Reform Bill ran from 10 August to 2 November 2012 and we are currently analysing the responses received.