Crowds on Princes Street, one of Scotland's largest and busiest shopping streets, in Edinburgh

Public spending to create jobs as Scotland leads the way

When it comes to using the purchasing of goods and services to benefit people and communities, Scotland is very much leading the way, according to a new, independent review.

The review, titled Scotland’s Journey of Achieving Sustainable Procurement Outcomes 2002-2022, has concluded that the procurement policies undertaken by the Scottish Government are of benefit to local businesses, communities and the environment. It also stated that “Scotland is regarded as a leader in the field of sustainable procurement.”

The policies being used by the Scottish Government have allowed small firms to secure contracts easier, whilst also specifying that businesses bidding for contracts must show how they intend to support their local area. This specification comes in the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, where public bodies “must consider and act on opportunities to achieve environmental, economic and social benefits through spending on goods and services.” This has led to an estimated 120,000 jobs being supported in 2020-21, with £8.3 billion off public spending going towards benefitting communities.

Ivan McKee, Scottish Business Minister, said:

“Public bodies spend £14.5 billion a year on procurement and it is important that local businesses and communities across Scotland are able to benefit.

“The Scottish Government’s policies help ensure that this is the case, and make more effective use of public money.

“It is good to see this recognised as we continue our drive to create a fairer, greener and more prosperous economy for Scotland.”

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