Sustainable Procurement Bill / Community Benefit Clauses

Sustainable Procurement Bill / Community Benefit Clauses
Scottish Govt / Social Enterprise Scotland

Press Release – Scottish Govt:

The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil, today outlined his intention to further reform public procurement to improve Scottish businesses’ access to contract opportunities.

Mr Neil said:

“I have spent a lot of time in recent months engaging with businesses and others who have concerns about public procurement. 

“The Scottish Government has done a great deal to improve the way the procurement system operates in Scotland, but clearly there is still room for significant further improvement, both in relation to efficiency and the extent to which Scottish businesses are able to access contract opportunities.

“We have already announced our intention to introduce a Sustainable Procurement Bill during the life of this Parliament and that the Bill will seek to ensure that major public contracts deliver training and employment opportunities through the inclusion of Community Benefit Clauses.  Having listened to business concerns about procurement I can announce that the Bill will also seek to ensure that all public bodies in Scotland adopt transparent, streamlined and standardised procurement processes that are friendly to Scottish businesses.

“Many of the issues that have been raised with me have related to the construction sector.  This sector is facing particular challenges in the current economic climate and many of the improvements we have introduced to public procurement have had limited impact as our work on improving practice has been focused largely on goods and services rather than construction .

“Against this background, I believe the time is right to commission a root and branch review of construction procurement across the public sector, with a view to tackling industry concerns and ensuring that procurement practices deliver best value for Scotland’s economy. 

“We will work up detailed proposals for the review and I will make a further announcement on this shortly.”

Press Release – Social Enterprise Scotland:

Public procurement must prioritise community benefit

Responding to The Scottish Government news about procurement reform and the release of the Jimmy Reid Foundation report today (Using Our Buying Power to Benefit Scotland), Social Enterprise Scotland has called for community benefit to be a priority in all public procurement.

The body representing social enterprises also called for more local and partnership working to enable social enterprises to win contracts. This call also comes before the local council elections on 3 May, where Social Enterprise Scotland will be campaigning on community benefits.

Fraser Kelly, Acting Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said:

“Public procurement reform is something that Social Enterprise Scotland has campaigned hard on for the past few years. We’re pleased that The Scottish Government has taken on board our views, particularly with regards to Community Benefit clauses and access to and transparency of government contracts.

“Social enterprise suppliers are a central part of the public procurement reform programme, working closely with government and business to ensure that opportunities are maximised for third sector suppliers. We’re encouraged with progress, though there is still a lot of work to do to level the playing field further.

“The forthcoming Sustainable Procurement Bill must emphasise the innovative and central role of Scotland’s local social enterprises in delivering community benefit. More contracts should be awarded and delivered in Scotland, with social businesses working together to win a share of the annual £9bn a year in public procurement.”

Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent, Scottish and member-led organisation, built and controlled by social enterprises across the country.