Scottish Ministers have confirmed that there will be a co-ordinated approach to the implementation of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 and the EU Procurement Directives. This will increase the opportunities for stakeholder engagement and also ensure that a comprehensive suite of guidance supports the new legislation.
Regulations implementing the new public procurement directive were laid in the Scottish Parliament on 18 December 2015 and plan to come into effect on 18 April 2016. A summary of planned changes these regulations will introduce can be seen in the Scottish Procurement Policy Note, which was published on 18 December 2015. http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0049/00491432.pdf
Key changes include:
Simplifying the procurement process, supporting wider public policy aims and improving supplier access to public contracts. These can be seen from examples such as:
- The minimum time limits for procurement exercises have been reduced, meaning that contracts can be put in place more swiftly.
- The Scottish Model of Procurement places an emphasis on value for money being a result of an appropriate balance between cost, quality and sustainability. Therefore, the Scottish Government has decided to use the flexibility offered by the public procurement directive to make it clear in law that contracts should never be awarded on the sole basis of lowest price or lowest cost.
- “Innovation Partnerships” have been introduced, increasing the choice to use public procurement to develop new and different solutions to meet authorities’ requirements.
- Contracting authorities must now consider separating their requirements into much smaller lots. This might encourage smaller businesses to bid. Where an authority decides not to do this, it then must explain why it has not done so. Contracting authorities will also be able to award more than one lot to the same tenderer, and may award contracts combining several or all lots.
Director, Tom Anderson said: “As one of the UK’s leading Procurement companies Thornton & Lowe will be guiding their many clients through the new 2014 Act in readiness for competing at the highest level”
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