The Association use Public Contract Scotland http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/Default.aspx to procure all work which is likely to cost over £15,000. This ensures we are receiving the best value for money by allowing contractors to bid for contracts in a fair, open, transparent and secure manner. The information below is from Public Contract Scotland (PCS) website and explains the thinking behind using PCS.
The Public Sector in Scotland is responsible for ensuring that Scottish citizens are provided with the wide range of goods, works and services that support them in their daily lives. From street lighting to MRI scanners, from social care to education and emergency services, the people of Scotland expect their taxes to be spent wisely whist ensuring value for money and delivery of the highest quality products.
The public sector in Scotland accounts for around £8 billion of spend per annum. That level of spending is of enormous significance to Scottish businesses and must play an important role in building a wealthier and more successful Scotland.
Under the terms of the current spending review there is increasing pressures on public funding. It is therefore essential that buyers within the public sector to make the best possible use of existing resources.
In response to the recommendations contained in the Review of Public Procurement in Scotland report the Scottish Procurement Directorate within Scottish Government set up the Public Procurement Reform Programme.
One of the recommendations in the aforementioned report stated, that in order to maintain a competitive environment and to support an open and transparent market environment, a single public sector 'electronic portal' should be established where suppliers can access essential information on opportunities to offer services and bid for contracts for the supply of goods, works and services to the whole Public Sector in Scotland. It further stated that access to, and participation in, tenders should be free of charge.
The Scottish Government's objective is to deliver an electronic national contracts advertising portal which contains details of contract opportunities with Scottish Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, the Scottish Government; Agencies and Non Departmental Public Bodies, Higher and Further Education and the Emergency Services. At the National Procurement Conference in October 2007 Mr Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and chair of the Public Procurement Reform Board stated, "I will expect all Scottish contracting organisations to advertise contracts using this facility".
The portal Public Contracts Scotland launched in August 2008 is a vital ingredient in enabling the Scottish public sector to:
Increase competition and support 'Best Value'
Provide valuable free contract information to suppliers
Support the Public Sector to achieve a more transparent tendering process and adhere to EU rules
Build stronger communication links with buyers and suppliers
Stimulate growth in Scotland