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Social benefits of Scottish procurement reform

New proposals on procurement in Scotland could see requirements to provide training and apprenticeships become part of major public sector contracts. 

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the Procurement Reform Bill, exploring the use of community benefit clauses in large-value contracts, such as providing opportunities for disabled people or the long-term unemployed. 

The Government spends over £9bn on procurement every year, with over 45% spent with small or medium sized businesses in 2011. 

The consultation document reads: “The Bill will establish a national legislative framework for sustainable public procurement that supports Scotland’s economic growth by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits, supporting innovation and promoting processes and systems which are transparent, streamlined, standardised, proportionate, fair and business-friendly.” 

Cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment, Alex Neil said: “More effective and efficient public services will play a key economic and social role in Scotland’s future and public procurement is an important lever for change.  

“Over £9bn is spent each year through public sector contracts and this Bill will mean that money works as hard as it can for our economy. That will include producing more training opportunities, for example through making apprenticeships an integral part of major public contracts. 

“That is why this Bill will drive procurement reform further forward by embedding good policy, systems and practice in legislation to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.”

View the consultation at: 

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