Responsible Purchasing

16.1 Scope

16.2 Statement of Principles and minimum standards

16.3 Special Contracts Arrangement Scheme (SCA)

16.1 Scope

It is Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) policy that all purchasing is undertaken in a responsible manner that builds on the Parliament’s strategic priorities and contributes to Sustainable Development. The SPCB is committed to delivering tangible improvements across the following areas:

  • Professional standards for purchasing staff
  • Environmental impact
  • Ethical and social issues
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Scottish Suppliers

16.2 Statement of Principles and minimum standards

Purchasing responsibly means:

Having high professional standards.

  • We will demonstrate the highest possible professional standards, operating in an open and accessible environment, with integrity. We will provide effective training, development and support to all staff involved in the procurement process

Minimum standards:

  • All Purchasing Managers and above should be (or be working towards) full membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. Annually, all Procurement Services staff will complete a skills profile assessment, the results of which will inform the annual training plan.

Reducing environmental impact:

  • We will ensure that the procurement decisions we take today have the minimum possible impact on the environment, both now and in the future. 

Minimum standards:

  •  Environmental impact will be considered and evaluated at all stages of the procurement process and value for money will be determined on the basis of whole life costs (including the environmental impact of purchase and disposal).

Delivering ethical and social improvements within our contracts:

  • We will integrate ethical and social issues into the procurement process, and will be proactive in addressing issues of broader human rights within the supply chain.

Minimum standards:

  • Ethical and social issues will be considered at all stages of the procurement process and an Equalities Impact Assessment carried out for all tenders. We will work with key contractors to achieve improvements within the supply chain and we will continue to increase the range of fairly traded goods within relevant contracts. We will also consider the social economy when developing our procurement strategies.

Increasing contracting opportunities for SMEs and Scottish Suppliers:

  • We will engage with SMEs and Scottish suppliers and the social economy and simplify our processes wherever possible, helping to better equip these suppliers to compete for public sector business.

Minimum standards:

  • We will advertise our requirements in a manner that maximises opportunities for SMEs (e.g. utilising the Public Contracts Scotland portal). We will continue to engage with organisations representing SMEs and the social economy, and attend or host relevant, targeted events each year. We will systematically review all formal documentation and processes, simplifying wherever possible and ensuring that plain English is used.

Communicating effectively:

  • We will share expertise and best practice and engage with internal and external stakeholders to promote and sustain our responsible purchasing approach. We will monitor our progress and publish outputs.

Minimum standards:

  • Continue to publish case studies of best practice; publish annual progress reports demonstrating the extent to which targets have been met; publish plans to introduce new initiatives & targets as a result of meetings with stakeholders. We will share our expertise and outputs with other organisations.

    Being innovative and pursuing excellence:

    • We will keep abreast of developments and take an innovative approach to procurement, ensuring that our decisions are based on the best available knowledge at the time.

    Minimum standards:

    • We will ensure that procurement staff receive relevant training and support and that research is carried out regularly to determine developments. When developing individual procurement strategies, we will undertake research to ensure that all relevant responsible purchasing aspects will be incorporated into the project.

    16.3 Special Contracts Arrangement Scheme (SCA)

    • It is SPCB policy to utilise the SCA Scheme for SPCB procurements below the EC Procurement Regulation thresholds.

    The purpose of the SCA scheme is to assist eligible employers of severely disabled people within the European Union (EU) to compete for business with UK Government buyers and their agencies whilst taking account of the principle of accepting the most economically advantageous tender. 

    • The Scheme applies only to contracts below the relevant threshold of the EU Procurement Directives. Although not a Government Department or Agency, the SPCB supports the SCA Scheme.