16 January 2008
The Scottish government has introduced an advice service for suppliers to the country's public sector.
The Single Point of Enquiry website (click here
) aims to address supplier concerns and improve procurement practices. It provides an informal "honest broker" channel, where suppliers can discuss public purchasing and raise concerns confidentially. Public sector procurement in Scotland is estimated to be worth ú8 billion a year and officials are keen to see it is carefully managed.
John Swinney MSP, cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, said in a statement: "It will give suppliers, and their business organisations, a new channel to seek advice or register their concerns regarding public procurement practices. This will undoubtedly lead to improvements and better standards in procurement across the public sector."
Andrew Watson, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland, said it will identify issues "that can be addressed with targeted action".