The effective use of technology is at the heart of procurement reform and Scottish Procurement is leading a number of core initiatives to ensure that public procurement delivers value for money and contributes to the Scottish economy.
The Scottish Government’s eCommerce Shared Service brings together all the steps involved in doing business with the public sector in Scotland. It is a collaborative electronic environment, that promotes improved capability across public procurement in Scotland. As well as enabling business to be conducted more simply, consistently and effectively, it plays a key strategic role in delivering and sustaining procurement benefits and best practices.
The use of technology presents greater opportunities for procurement managers to influence business by streamlining and standardising procurement process, delivering more effective contracts, monitoring procurement activity and collaborating more effectively. Please see the attached Buyers Guide to Technology for Reform for further information
The Scottish Procurement Information Hub is a sophisticated analytical tool which allows procurement professionals to determine how much they are spending on external goods an services from third party suppliers and identify potential collaborative opportunities. The Best Practice Indicators functionality also enables buyers to monitor performance in areas such as SMEs and eCommerce usage.
Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) is the national advertising portal for all contracting opportunities across the Scottish public sector. It encourages economic growth through developing a competitive market environment in which suppliers have easy access to all essential information on business opportunities arising from the public sector. Suppliers registered on PCS receive a free e-mail alert service, notifying them of opportunities as they arise. It also enables the Scottish public sector to achieve best value for money by exposing the majority of contract opportunities to an open and transparent competitive process. New functionality within PCS will allow suppliers that have won, or are shorlisted for public contracts, to advertise sub-contracting opportunities to suppliers further down the supply chain.
Public Contracts Scotland - Tender provides buying organisations with a set of web-based collaborative procurement tools which include eTendering, eEvaluation and eAuction functionality whilst also increasing collaborative working practices. This allows buyers to communicate securely with both their suppliers and stakeholders throughout the procurement lifecycle. This has been closely aligned to best professional practice, encompassed within the Procurement Journey to ensure that best practice is embedded and that a consistent and standard process is followed in line with EU regulations. Contract & supplier management functionality are also provided to enable contract managers to actively record and manage all aspects of both contract and supplier performance. PCS-Tender also includes a set of nationally agreed Standard Pre-Qualification Questions which will assist in reducing the inconsistency in the selection process. A database is currently being procured which will hold common standard information that is requested from suppliers as part of the selection process. This will help to simplify processes especially for SMEs. it will reduce duplication of effort, increase efficiency in business administration, reduce disproportionate qualification requirements and inconsistent qualification criteria.
Catalogue Content Management (CCM) hub hosts electronic content for contracts at national, sectoral and local level. It increases compliance to contracts and drives out contract management information. This allows suppliers and procurement teams to easily manage, approve and distribute content to public sector bodies through one central electronic repository. This sytem is currrently being implemented throughout the public sector. During implementation phase an interim catalogue validation tool is available.
PECOS, P2P system provides a consistent interface to suppliers through standard order, receipt and invoice functionality. Enabling business workflows and audited approval processes to be implemented to ensure compliance to procurement and finance guidelines. Underpinning the delivery of PECOS P2P is a robust Service Management model. This supports the delivery of the system in a coherent and managed hosted environment with clear Service Level Agreements (SLA’s), release management processes and disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
There are a number of different payment options available to public sector organisations including the Government Procurement Card (GPC) and eInvoicing.