03 December 2008 | Paul Snell
The Scottish Government must set up a more rigorous scrutiny and reporting programme for the public sector's action on sustainable procurement, according to a new report.
The independent advisory body the Sustainable Development Commission Scotland (SDCS) said the national government had a "clear leadership role" to play. It needs to harness the country's £8 billion public sector spend to deliver sustainability, and the government must encourage public sector organisations to develop individual policies and targets.
The SDCS said independent scrutiny of sustainable purchasing activity was also a necessity. It suggested this could be similar to the annual Sustainable Development in Government reports currently produced for the UK government by the SDC.
Although there had been progress in developing a framework for sustainable purchasing in the country, this is not being put into practice. The report also said organisations needed to develop specific sustainable procurement plans. It suggested the government could create a "best practice indicator" to guide buyers and help them measure value for money.
The Scottish Government is expected to publish its own Sustainable Procurement Action Plan later this month. The SDC said any advice included needed to be clear and practical, as well as detail any "quick wins" that could be achieved immediately.