Small business and the evironment winners in purchasing strategy

30/01/2008

Reducing environmental harm and improving access to the Parliament’s procurement process for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and Scottish suppliers are two of the main aims of a new strategy released today.

The Scottish Parliament’s Responsible Purchasing Strategy identifies four themes aimed at putting responsible purchasing at the heart of the Parliament’s procurement decision-making.

In addition to its environmental and SME objectives, the strategy will strengthen professional standards for purchasing staff and better take into account ethical and social issues as they apply to the procurement process.

Scottish Parliament Chief Executive Paul Grice said:

“The Scottish Parliament purchases some £15 million worth of goods and services each year. We continue to look for ways to improve access to the procurement process and ensure that where possible the goods and services we purchase do not have an adverse impact on the community or the environment.

“This strategy will build on our achievements to date, through integrating responsible purchasing into all our practices and encouraging our suppliers to do the same. This work will lead to the Parliament being recognised as a leader in responsible purchasing and we hope will encourage other organisations to do more.

“The vast majority of firms in Scotland are small and medium sized enterprises, so it’s important that we actively remove barriers to SMEs and Scottish suppliers participating in the procurement process, while ensuring we continue to comply with European procurement law.”

Simon Pepper OBE, WWF Ambassador said:

“I congratulate the Corporate Body on this strategy. Rather than a patchy collection of worthy policies, this is a systematic approach that really aims to transform Parliament’s culture. It is proof of a commitment to standards of responsible procurement, which aims to meet this body’s needs without jeopardising the ability of others to meet their needs in the future.

“The strategy adds to the high standard of environmental management already adopted here in the parliament building – the first public body to adopt ecological footprint, as a corporate key performance indicator. This was very much welcomed by WWF, which has championed footprint as a simple but revealing measure of total environmental impact. We should all encourage others to follow your lead.”

The strategy pulls together a range of policies and initiatives into a single integrated policy, which retains the Parliament’s focus on principles of value for money, efficiency and legal compliance.

The strategy, which was released at a launch event in the Parliament today, will be reviewed regularly, with progress reports published annually. Longer term success will be measured in a report to be published in March 2010.

Background

The strategy was developed by the Parliament’s Procurement Services and follows a comprehensive public and stakeholder consultation process. Procurement Services carry out the procurement of goods and services on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB).

In 2003 the SPCB adopted a Statement of Principles, which led to a responsible purchasing policy and greater understanding amongst stakeholders and staff.

A copy of the strategy can be found on the Parliament’s web site Procurement pages.

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