Procurement Policy

Procurement policy applies to all purchases, i.e. goods, services (including consultants, advisers and external research) and works. It applies to purchases funded from both capital and running costs and also to goods/services supplied through sponsorship and hire/lease.

The following policy must be followed by everyone involved in the procurement process, whether as end-user/customer, purchaser, project team member, budget holder or contract manager.

The key areas of Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) procurement policy are shown in the pages below.

Authority to Purchase

Purchasing Authority is the authority to enter into a legally binding contract on behalf of the SPCB (Note: a Purchase Order is a legally binding contract). Authority covers all purchasing commitments, including variations to and extensions of contracts.

Procurement Thresholds and Processes

The process that is followed for a given procurement process is dependant on the value of the contract.

European Union (EU) Procurement Rules

Legal Legislation impose minimum procurement standards on contracting authorities and must be followed at all times.

Defining the Need

Prior to any procurement being undertaken, the actual need must be clearly defined, i.e. that it is fit for the purpose for which it is intended. If an actual requirement does exist, it must be procured by means that offer best overall value for money.

The Procurement Strategy

The Procurement Strategy is developed between Procurement Services, the Project Owner and representatives from any other business areas as appropriate (e.g. BIT).

Selection of Suppliers

The objective is to identify organisations that have the necessary resources and capability to meet the specified requirement and to ensure that suppliers are selected in a way that is fair and transparent.

The Specification

A full specification must be produced for requirements in excess of £60k (excluding VAT).

Evaluation of Bids

The objective when evaluating and clarifying submitted bids is to identify the one which most closely meets the requirements as set out in the specification, and which represents best value for money to the SPCB in terms of whole life costs.

Awarding Contracts

All contracts let on behalf of the SPCB should be subject to Scots Law and awarded by person with the specific DPA authority. Please see this chapter for further information .

De-Briefing Suppliers

All unsuccessful suppliers must be offered a de-brief to explain why their bid was unsuccessful. It is SPCB policy to also offer a de-brief to successful suppliers.

Project Review

The purpose of a project review is to evaluate the procurement process so that lessons can be learned and the level of success measured.

Contractor Performance Management

Contractor Performance Management (CPM) is the process that enables both parties to a contract to meet their obligations in order to deliver the objectives required from the contract.

Pay the Supplier

SPCB contractors must be paid within agreed terms, and the CBI Prompt Payers Code observed at all times.

Disposing of Goods

The re-sale value and environmental costs of items should be taken in to account when developing a procurement strategy. Goods should be re-used wherever possible.

Openness & Transparency

In keeping with one of the founding principles of openness, it is SPCB policy that its procurement services will be delivered in an open and accessible manner. Please see this chapter for guidlines.

Responsible Purchasing

It is SPCB policy that all purchasing is undertaken in a responsible manner that builds on the Parliament’s strategic priorities and contributes to Sustainable Development. Please see this chapter for our Statement of Principles and minimum standards.

Ethical Standards for Purchasers

All suppliers must be treated fairly & equitably at all times and purchasers and others involved in the procurement process must act with integrity and honesty.

Retail Procurement

Retail procurement covers the purchase of goods for re-sale in the Scottish Parliament retail outlet. Please see this chapter for guidelines on retail procurement.


In recognition of the commercial and other benefits that can flow from sponsorship projects, it is SPCB policy that sponsorship of its activities should be encouraged where appropriate. Please see this chapter for guidlines.