Views from businesses and organisations of all sizes and types are being sought to support MSPs in their scrutiny of the bill proposed to help manage the £9 billion per year spend by the public sector on goods and services across Scotland.
Members of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee want to make sure they have all the information they need to examine the proposals in the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill before they make recommendations to Parliament.
The Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 3 October and seeks to establish a national legislative framework for public procurement that supports Scotland’s economic growth. The Committee is looking at the ‘general principles’ of the bill and wants to hear from those involved in bidding for public sector contracts, those involved in the purchasing within the public sector as well as organisations that deliver the community benefits to be placed on public sector contracts.
Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee Convener Maureen Watt MSP said:
“The Bill has the admirable and logical goal of seeking to use the public sector spend to support Scotland’s economic growth. We want to hear from organisations and businesses on the key areas of the Bill that aim to improve procurement in Scotland and support innovation.
“At this point, we are looking for evidence to see if the Bill addresses the issues faced by those compiling tenders and those bidding for contracts and whether it will assist smaller businesses, social enterprises and third sector bodies to play a greater role in public sector contracts.”
The Bill sets out the general duties of contracting authorities, a sustainable procurement duty and a duty to prepare and review a procurement strategy and publish annual reports. It also outlines community benefit requirements and sets standards on procurement of recyclable and reusable materials.
The Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Government. It states the purpose of the Bill is to “make provision about the procedures relating to the award of public contracts by certain authorities” and “to require certain authorities to produce procurement strategies and annual reports”.
It also lays out specific duties regarding the establishment of a public contracts website, community benefit requirements and a contracts register.
The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee has been designated the lead committee for the Parliament on its stage 1 scrutiny. A timetable for the production of a stage 1 report will be agreed by the Parliament in due course. The Committee is requesting written evidence is submitted by 29 November 2013. It is aiming to take oral evidence during November and December 2013, with a report likely to follow early in the new year.
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Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill
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