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Public Procurement in Scotland

The public sector spends over £11 billion a year on goods and services across the public sector. This provides an excellent platform to work with the public, private and third sectors to “deliver procurement that improves public services for a prosperous, fairer and more sustainable Scotland.”

Public procurement is a key partner and enabler to deliver Scotland’s economic strategy. We invest in our people, infrastructure and assets in a sustainable way, encourage innovation, and promote inclusive growth

Legislation has re-enforced the principles of the Scottish Model of Procurement. It maintains the ethos of the public procurement reform programme - business friendly, socially responsible procurement that delivers better outcomes for Scotland.

Our public procurement contracts are amongst the most accessible in the world for micro, small and medium size organisations. We are providing opportunities for Scotland’s small and medium sized enterprises and third sector organisations to benefit through public sector business both domestically and in other countries.

Governance and Reporting

Scottish Ministers are required to publish an annual procurement report to Parliament following the publication of public bodies annual procurement reports, that are due at the end of the 2017-2018 financial year.

The Ministerial Strategic Group - Procurement has been replaced with a by-invitation workshop focussed on the Scottish Ministers Annual Report to Parliament.

The Public Procurement Group (PPG) (formerly the Procurement Reform Delivery (PRDG)) are owners of an annual Workplan for public procurement, that identifies milestones for achievement against each of the strategic objectives of the Scottish Model of Procurement (and capability), underpinning procurement’s overall vision.

The PPG is responsible for delivering the vision for public procurement and ensuring that Public Procurement in Scotland remains on course to deliver benefits, and that obstacles to this are removed or reduced. The group collectively owns the procurement Workplan, and it leads, drives and facilitates the work to develop collaborative national and sectoral approaches to procurement across the public sector in Scotland.

The remit of the group is to:

  • own and drive forward the work of the procurement Workplan, while maximising efficiency of resources and staying within budget
  • make decisions on recommendations made to it in relation to developments within Scottish Public Procurement
  • ensure the required level of cross-cutting co-operation and working is achieved
  • manage dependencies between initiatives, particularly where one initiative's progress depends on work done by another
  • monitor and manage risks and issues. Co-ordinate the resolution of issues and the measures to reduce risks if appropriate
  • help manage the agenda and its key stakeholders through reporting as a communications channel

Archived minutes of the meetings can be viewed below.

Archived Public Procurement Group minutes

Archived Procurement Reform Delivery Group (PRDG) minutes.

The Chair of the Public Procurement Group is Ainslie McLaughlin, Director, Procurement and Commercial, the Scottish Government. Members of the group are:

Angus Warren

Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) Limited

Barry Graham

Scottish Procurement

Ian Howie

Scottish Procurement

Julie Welsh

Scotland Excel

Martin Street

NHS:NSS National Procurement

Paul McNulty

Scottish Procurement

Scott Bell

Scottish Procurement


The Procurement Supply Group (PSG) is made up of representatives from business, third sector and trade unions who represent supply side interests and contribute to the procurement agenda.

The remit of the group is:

  • to provide an on-going framework for dialogue about, and influence upon, public procurement practices as they affect suppliers; and

  • to support the Public Procurement Group and Strategic Forums in delivering the procurement Workplan.

The group measure their work against a set of agreed key performance indicators (KPIs)

Workplan and Progress Reports

The first Workplan was published in 2015. The Workplan provides the strategic objectives and vision of Procurement in Scotland and captures high level milestones and activities mapped against the key objectives for Public Procurement moving forward. Delivery of projects and activities against these milestones is led by officials from Scottish Procurement and from the Procurement Centres of Expertise, either working as part of 5 strategic forums, or in other projects and activities. The Workplan is monitored throughout the year, reviewed at its mid-point, reported on and refreshed annually.

2018 - 2019
2017 - 2018
2016 - 2017
2015 - 2016
Legislative Changes

The EU Procurement Directives aim to ensure that public purchases are made in a fair and transparent manner.  The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 provides a national legislative framework for sustainable public procurement that supports Scotland’s economic growth through improved procurement practice.  In the short term, individual organisations will be required to develop their working practices to align with the legislative and regulatory requirements introduced by the Reform Act and the implementation of the EU Directives.

Statutory guidance and models of best practice have been published to support organisations.

The guidance and best practice:

  • help public bodies meet their duty to prepare and publish procurement strategies and annual procurement reports
  • support contracting authorities meet their duty to comply with the sustainable procurement duty in the Reform Act
  • help public bodies to exploit the facility to use community benefits
  • help public bodies apply exclusion grounds, selection and award criterion for regulated and EU-regulated procurements

In the medium term, outputs will be developed to support organisations in embedding sustainability through procurement, improve access for suppliers, increase collaborative working across the sectors, advance the capturing and recording of data and information, and support individuals and organisations to help procurement thrive.

Procurement Engagement Team – Contact Us

Any questions regarding the Public Procurement in Scotland landscape and Workplan can be emailed to PPS@gov.scot