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New public procurement rules to come into force in Scotland

1 April 2016

Scotland's public procurement rules will be reformed on 18 April 2016, with two significant pieces of legislation coming into effect. The first is the implementation of EU procurement directives from 2014, which primarily apply to contracting authorities and to utilities, while the second is the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

The legislation encourages the supply chain to pay greater attention to prior information notices (PINs) and includes specific details related to compliance. The thresholds at which buyers must advertise have been lowered through the Procurement Reform Act to £50,000 for goods and services and £2 million for works.

From a supplier standpoint, the new legislation aims to encourage aspects beyond core delivery, such as increasing community benefits, bolstering the number of apprenticeships, and encouraging SME involvement in the market. As mandating contractors to pay the so-called living wage was declared to be illegal by the EU, the Scottish government has responded by encouraging suppliers to think about how they can enhance fair workforce practices, making it an aspect open to evaluation as part of the quality score.

For more information, visit Supply Management.